HOW IRRIGATION IS AIDING THE PUSH TO ACHIEVE FOOD SECURITY
Jan 21, 2020
What is life without water?
Can you remember the scent of hot dry sand mix with rainwater? The first drops of rain gives the grasses the cue to spread their wings (leaves), splitting of the molecules of hydrogen and oxygen (I hope) and the dissolving of nutrient to go up to the leaves through the roots are part of the process that builds up food in plants after the cattle has grazed then you will see them guzzling in water under a shed, the water helps them to wash down their rich green grasses and the science people claim it aids digestion; when if it makes human’s business comes out easy am sure it is the same for cows. Unconfirmed speculation is that by 2050, we will have to double food production to cater to humans on earth; there is almost no way to achieve this without irrigation. As the earth experiences a drastic change in the climatic condition, even the harmattan is gone and it’s just the 10th day of the New Year; this is to tell you that something is wrong with our home, not sorry for sounding blunt!
Part of the implications of human behavior on earth is the inability of the soil to support plants and give life to young shoots when it comes to the ecosystem, everything and anything is degrading; most importantly provision of water for plant growth and livestock rearing. On the 2nd of February 2019, the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMeT) released the 2019 seasonal rainfall prediction (SRP), it was as gloomy as brown dull-looking balloon flying across a thick dark cloud of rain; the report literarily said there will be less rainfall in 2019 and am sure plenty farmers didn’t have access to that information (we will someday discuss this), and even if they knew what could they have possibly done about it? In this part of the world, people prefer to say prayers then wait, rather than seek active solutions to problems, most of our dear jolly farmers are not different (if only wishes were horses….) they hope for favorable situations for coming planting season, guess what? It almost never works the way they hope, sighs!
If I tell baba Tajudeen that rain won’t fall much this year and ask him what can he do about it, am pretty sure I will get a blank stare and the “shey iwo loloun ni” (are you God?) question as a response. The dry season is getting longer than the wet one, crops like millet, maize, rice, soybean, sugarcane, turmeric and others who need significant amount of water suffers, to avoid this; there is need to provide alternative source of water to the natural rainfall which gives farmers joy like father Christmas does it for the small kids.
Irrigation can solve this problem - it is simply providing water for your farmland from a source, not rain (Agric science student, your meal is ready); it is divisible into surface and underground irrigation, like the name, implies, surface is when water is poured on the face of the land while under-ground irrigation is the passage of water below the surface soil (really trying to keep things simple here); both have its advantages and demerits. What really prompted me to write about this is........
(kindly check the blog next week for the concluding part of this post)