Assessment of Challenges and Opportunities of Small Scale Irrigation Utilization: (the Case of Tahtay Maychew Woreda, Central Zone, Tigray, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Irrigation has the potential to stabilize agricultural production and ease the negative impacts of variable or insufficient rainfall in Ethiopia. This study was designed to assess challenges and opportunities of utilization of small-scale irrigation. The objectives of the study is to assess the opportunities to use irrigation, factors that influence Irrigation Utilization by small-scale farmers, the role of the extension workers towards confirming the desirable Utilization of Irrigation by the farmers and weigh up existing infrastructure of the SSI and its accessibility. It adopts quantitative and qualitative research approach. To serve these objectives, data was collected from 169 sample respondent farmers from four purposively selected Kebeles by distributing questionnaire by collectors and this was also supplemented by semi-structured interview and focus group discussion and field observations. Descriptive type of research like, participants answer questions administered through interviews or questionnaires and field observation to analyze the data. From the sampled respondents, FGDs (22) that is 4 females and 18 males and 10 key informant interviews, different challenges and opportunities were forwarded. The result of the research indicates that there was potential for the development of small-scale irrigation specially availability of favorable agro-ecology, availability of labor, and supportive of government policies and reserve underground water. The research result also identified that the challenge of small scale as Shortage of water that relates with shortage of ponds and diversion shortage of agricultural inputs specially improved seed and pesticides, high cost of irrigation, shortage of water pump technologies, spare parts, technical problems such as maintenance of motor pumps, presences of diseases and pests, insufficient market information and market networks, infrastructure specially road, weakness of local FTCs and low of price of products. In conclusion, to alleviate these constraints and utilize the opportunities towards SSI, the concerned bodies should attempt to minimize those factors that hinder productivity of irrigation in the study area. If SSI schemes are to play their role, an integrated effort of all development partners such as government (specifically BOARD), cooperative promoters, private sector and the society at large is crucial to address the problems faced. Additionally, farmers should establish viable and strong linkages with development /extension agents and other cooperative societies in the areas of irrigation, finance, marketing and technology adoption



Farm Land, Schemes Tahtay My Chew Woreda