Potentials for Supplemental Irrigation in Some Rainfall Areas of Imo, Abia and Ebonyi States of Nigeria

  • CN Madubuike


It is generally believed that irrigation is not needed in the southern parts of Nigeria, usually referred to as the rainfall areas of Nigeria. This study investigated the need and potentials for irrigation in some parts of Imo, Abia and Ebonyi States of southeastern Nigeria with a view to ascertaining the extent of need and potentials for irrigation in the area. Results of the investigations showed, among other things, that although there was sufficient rainwater for cropping during the rainy season, there were some months of drought that could lead to excessive crop water stress. In addition, there were up to five months of the year during which rainwater was much in deficit of evapotranspiration. All these stress the need for irrigation. Analysis of water quality (surface, groundwater, and rainfall runoff) showed their suitability for irrigation. Quantity assessment of supplemental irrigation during the dry season showed that surplus amount of water could be harvested. Land capability and availability considerations showed that over 90% of soils from Imo, Abia and Ebonyi States were arable, and could be put to all year round crop production through irrigation.

Keywords: Irrigation, soil, rainfall, evapotranspiration, seasons, southeastern Nigeria

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eISSN: 1597-913X