The best irrigation system in Nigeria is the irrigation system that gives the farmer the highest yield with the least cost of operation. There are several methods of irrigation in Nigeria; each method has its own merits and demerits.
To choose the best irrigation system in Nigeria may not be an easy task. If you ask farmers to choose their own best irrigation system, their answers may be different. We have tested almost all the irrigation systems in Nigeria and we can confidently pick the best type.
Best Irrigation System
The following are the irrigation systems that are used by farmers in Nigeria:
Drip Irrigation System
The drip irrigation system uses a set of hoses or pipes with emitters to pass water to the root zones of plants in trickles. The drip irrigation is known as one of the most effective and efficient method of irrigation in the world.
With drip irrigation, water is passed slowly in droplets to the roots of plants. This slow passing of water to roots of the plants makes the plans efficiently utilize the water. The water often does not go to waste as the plants uses almost all the water.
The drip irrigation system consists of the drip tapes, tubings, hoses, connectors, end plugs, venturi injector for Fertigation, filter, water reservoir, source of water and source of power. There are several types of drip irrigation system.
The advantages of using a drip irrigation system include:
- Drip irrigation is water and energy efficient. Drip irrigation uses 20 -30% of the water needed for irrigation systems like flood irrigation system and sprinkler system and yet perform better than these irrigation systems.
- Drip irrigation systems can be easily installed and deployed. Within a few hours, a drip irrigation system for a small farm can be arranged and installed unlike other types of irrigation system.
- Drip irrigation can reduce the quantity of fertilizers needed and also reduce the cost of labour needed for fertilizer application. Drip irrigation enables Fertigation which is the process of passing soluble fertilizers to the roots of plants through the drip irrigation pipes or hoses. Fertigation can increase crop yield by 30 – 70%.
- Drip irrigation also reduces the risk of disease outbreak as it does not sprinkle water on the leaves and surfaces of the plants unlike other irrigation systems. For example, sprinklers can increase the risk of fungal diseases in plants.
Rain Gun Irrigation System
The rain gun irrigation system is a type of irrigation system that uses a sprinkler like gun to sprinkle or spray water to the plants on the field. This is also an effective type of irrigation system, though it is not efficient in the use of water.
The rain gun system consists of the gun sprinkler or rain gun, tripod stand, rain gun connector, hoses, hoses, pipes, source of water and water pump.
The advantages of using a rain gun irrigation system include:
- It enables all year round farming for farmers and growers. With this irrigation system, farmers can grow their crops in the dry season when there is no rain.
- The rain irrigation system optimizes the usage of atmospheric nitrogen by plants.
- It can disrupt the breeding and activities of some types of insects.
Spray Tube Irrigation System
The spray tube or rain hose or sprinkler hose is a type of hose that sprinkles or sprays water to the plants. The spray hose works like a sprinkler. It is also an effective type of irrigation.
The spray tube irrigation system is not water efficient like the drip irrigation system. However, it’s more water efficient than the rain gun irrigation system.
The advantages of the spray tube irrigation system include:
- With this type of irrigation system, farmers can practice all year round farming. Farming can be done when there is no rain.
- It is easy to set up.
- It can be used for the raising of seedlings.
Center Pivot Irrigation System
The center pivot or water wheel is also called circle irrigation system. The center pivot is an irrigation equipment that rotates around a pivot. The center pivot consists of several sprinklers including rain guns used for irrigating crops. The centre pivot moves circularly around the farm, as it moves, it irrigates crop.
The advantages of the center pivot irrigation system include:
- It can be used to irrigate large acreages of land. It is usually used to irrigate very large farms.
- It enables all year round farming.
The drip irrigation system is unarguably the best irrigation system in Nigeria.