Volume No. 8 Issue No.: 3 Page No.: 515-522 Jan-Mar 2014

 

ASSESSING RIVER BASIN SYSTEM POTENTIALS TO ENHANCE SUSTAINABLE IRRIGATION FARMING OPERATIONS AND MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIA

 

Oriola E. O.*1 and Alabi M.O.2

1. Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Ilorin, Ilorin (NIGERIA) 2. Department of Geography and Planning, Kogi State University, Anyigba (NIGERIA)

 

Received on : October 15, 2013

 

ABSTRACT

 

This paper examines the large scale irrigation schemes of a river basin system with a view to determine the potentials of the system for sustainable irrigation operation by adopting an effective operation management for their sustainability, enhance increased food production and eradicate poverty among the irrigation famers in our society. The large scale irrigation schemes under the Lower Niger Development Authority were examined and analyzed to determine their potentials in achieving the set objectives of food production and food sufficiency. Direct field observation of the two irrigation schemes was carried out and relevant data on irrigation infrastructures that facilitate crop production were harvested and simple descriptive statistics were employed because of the nature of the data. The two schemes were found to have adequate volume of water, cultivable land, capacity for expansion and prospect for increased productivity. However, the system has constraint of fund and inadequate and irregular maintenance of infrastructure. This implies that a better operational and maintenance strategy is required if the set objectives are to be achieved. The recommendation therefore is that a better operation and maintenance strategy such Public Private Partnership should be fully adopted for these type of projects, with this; the farmers are very likely to be better empowered under private investors operation and maintenance while the Government Agency (River Basin) serves as monitoring body for effectiveness and efficiency of the basin system.

 

Keywords : Irrigation, Operation, Management, River basin, System, Sustainability, Partnership, Maintenance

 

 

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