An irrigation system is a set of processes and tools that allows for the artificial application of water to plants in a controlled manner. There are several types of irrigation systems used in Nigeria.
In Nigeria, the most popular types of irrigation systems are drip irrigation system, rain gun irrigation system, sprinkler irrigation system, center pivot irrigation system, flood irrigation system and spray tube irrigation system etc.
Irrigation systems are usually used in the dry season for open field farming in Nigeria. Irrigation systems are also used in greenhouses all year round. As a matter of fact, irrigation systems are also used in the rainy season because of the erratic nature of the rains nowadays.
Types of Irrigation Systems in Nigeria
The following are the types of irrigation systems used in Nigeria:
- Drip Irrigation System
- Rain Gun Irrigation System
- Spray Tube Irrigation System
- Center Pivot Irrigation System
- Flood Irrigation System
- Sprinkler Irrigation System
Drip Irrigation System
The drip irrigation system uses a set of pipes, drip tapes, hoses, emitters and other tools for the application of water in a slow and controlled manner to the root zones of plants. The drip irrigation system is the most efficient type of irrigation system when it comes to water management.
The drip irrigation system consists of drip tapes, drip tubings, emitters, connector, end plugs, venturi injector for Fertigation and Chemigation, source of water, pumps and valves. These components enable the drip irrigation system to work properly.
Some of the advantages of using a drip irrigation system include the following:
- Conservation of water
- Optimisation of water use by the plants
- Significant increase in yield as compared to other irrigation systems
- Reduction in the quantity of fertilizers to be used for plants
- Reduction in the need for labour and labour cost
- Ability to fertigated and send soluble fertilizers to roots of plants
- Reduction in weeds pressure
- Ease of setting up
Rain Gun Irrigation System
The rain gun irrigation system is an irrigation system that consists of rain guns, tripod stand, connector, hoses, source of water and a water pump.
The rain gun is a gun like sprinkler used for the irrigation of crops. The rain gun rotates around while sprinkling or spraying water to the leaves and surfaces of the plants. It is a type of overhead irrigation system.
The rain gun is easy to set up and can ensure all year round cultivation of crops.
Some of the advantages of a rain gun irrigation system include:
- Assurance of all year growing of crops
- Improvement in the efficiency of plants’ usage of atmospheric nitrogen
- Disruption of the breeding activities of insects
- Provision of much needed water to crops etc
Spray Tube Irrigation System
The spray tube irrigation system consists of spray tubes or rain hoses, connectors, end plugs, main hoses, source of water and pumps.
The spray tubes are laid beside the rows of plants. The spray tubes work like sprinklers. They spray o sprinkle water to the plants.
The spray tubes use more water than the drip irrigation system, but they are efficient in the use of water than rain guns.
The spray tubes sprinkle water on both sides of the hose.
Some of the merits of using a spray tube irrigation system include:
- All year round farming
- Efficiency in nitrogen usage by plants
- Disruption of the activities of pests like insects and flies
- Ability to apply foliar fertilizers and pesticides to plants
Center Pivot Irrigation System
The center pivot irrigation system consists of a center pivot or water wheel, source of water, hoses, pipes and pumps. The center pivot irrigates plants whilst it moves around a pivot.
The center pivot is usually used to irrigate plants in large acreages of land. It is not uncommon to see centre pivots used to irrigate several thousands of hectares of farmland.
The center pivot needs a big water reservoir for it to work well. The water reservoir may be a river or a dam.
The advantages of using a center pivot irrigation system include:
- Ability to easily irrigate plants in large farmlands
- Ability to grow crops all year round
- The center pivot can disrupt the breeding of pests like insects, aphids and flies etc.
Flood Irrigation System
Flood irrigation system is a method of irrigation that involves the application and distribution of water to the surface of the soil through gravity. Flood irrigation is common among small older farmers in Nigeria.
Flood irrigation system is a type of surface irrigation system. The uncontrolled distribution of water and the poor water and energy efficiency of flood irrigation are some of the problems of using this type of irrigation.
The advantages of flood irrigation system are:
- It enables farmers to cultivate their crops all through the year
- It provides much needed water to crops
Sprinkler Irrigation System
The rain guns and spray tubes are types of sprinklers. However, small sprinklers can be used to irrigate lawns, small orchards and gardens.
These sprinklers spray water to the plants and the field.
The advantages of using a sprinkler irrigation system are the provision of water all year round and the improvement of the health of the plants.
Do you know other irrigation systems used in Nigeria not mentioned in this article? If yes, why not let us continue the conversation in the comments’ section.