Irrigation Agriculture | Nile And Niger Basin

Irrigation agriculture is a farming practice that involves the artificial application of water to soil or land, particularly in areas with insufficient rainfall, such as Egypt and Sudan in the Nile Basin (utilizing the River Nile) and Mali and Northern Nigeria in the Niger Basin using the River Niger. The implementation of irrigation allows for […]

Irrigation agriculture is a farming practice that involves the artificial application of water to soil or land, particularly in areas with insufficient rainfall, such as Egypt and Sudan in the Nile Basin (utilizing the River Nile) and Mali and Northern Nigeria in the Niger Basin using the River Niger.

The implementation of irrigation allows for year-round farming, with the River Nile being crucial to Egypt, as reflected in the popular saying “No Nile, No Egypt.”

Factors necessitating irrigation include low and unreliable rainfall, arid conditions, and high evaporation rates in the Nile and Niger basins.

 

Factors favoring irrigation agriculture include the presence of rivers like the Nile and Niger, fertile alluvial soils, low rainfall, high evaporation rates, the need to control flooding, the resourcefulness of the population, a large population, and the desire to increase food production.

 

The importance of irrigation lies in reducing dependence on rainfall, enabling early planting, facilitating multiple crop cycles in a year, increasing crop yields, and reducing soil salinity.

Irrigation agriculture is practiced in specific areas within the Nile Basin, such as the Nile Delta, Nile Valley, Geizira Plain, Lakeshores, Aswan, and Khasimel Girba in Egypt, as well as Sennar and Kenena regions in Sudan. In the Niger Basin, areas include the Inland Niger Delta in Mali, the Niger Valley, and lakeshores like Kainji Lake.

Similarities between Nile and Niger irrigation practices include reliance on large dams, perennial nature, the use of canals, manual methods, cultivation of food and cash crops, and ownership by both government and individuals.

 

Reasons for the greater importance of irrigation in the Nile Basin compared to the Niger Basin include a larger desert area, richer alluvial plains, a higher population, and more significant cash crop production, such as cotton.

Crops cultivated in the Nile Basin include cotton, sugar cane, millet, wheat, maize, and rice, while the Niger Basin cultivates groundnut, maize, guinea-corn, onions, sugar cane, and rice.

 

Various methods of irrigation are employed, including basin irrigation during annual river flooding, shaduf irrigation using hand-operated levers, sakia irrigation involving animals to transport water, pump usage (also known as sprinkler irrigation), manual methods using buckets, and perennial methods using dams, barrages, and canals.

Challenges associated with irrigation include fluctuating water volumes affecting crop yields, expensive irrigation equipment, displacement of people due to dam construction, the need for high technical expertise, potential dam collapses, siltation issues, and the risk of disasters from flooding.

Related Posts:

Lumbering In Equatorial Africa

Africa | Climate And Vegetation

Africa | East, West, South, North, Relief And Drainage

Africa | Location, Position, Size And Political Division

Geographic Information System (GIS)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top