Characterize small-scale irrigation schemes in Northern Ethiopia based on socioeconomic, technical, and institutional aspects

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Irrigation is vital for realizing the full potential of the agricultural sector and is an important means for achieving food security in many arid and semi-arid countries, including Ethiopia. In order to maximize the benefits of irrigation, situational analysis is important. However, there are few studies in arid and semi-arid parts of Ethiopia that characterize existing irrigation developments from multi-dimensional perspectives. Therefore, the study was conducted in the Zamra catchment, which is a semi-arid region in Tigray, Ethiopia. The main aim was to characterize existing irrigation schemes based on socio-economic, technical, and institutional perspectives. A survey was conducted, interviewing 242 farmers, split in three groups based on the source of irrigation water, which included traditional diversion, dam, and modern diversion water users. Focus group discussions with elders, the Water Users Association (WUA) committee and women-headed households were also conducted. Descriptive statistics and the One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used for quantitative analysis. Descriptive statistical methods were used to describe and examine the respondents’ socioeconomic characteristics. Besides, the One-way ANOVA was used to show the significant difference between irrigation schemes on farmer’s income. The income of the households that utilize dams earns more money (ETB 19582) than traditional diversion households (ETB 17475) and modern diversion households (ETB 12923). Additionally, there is a significant difference in farmers’ income between modern diversion and dam (p < 0.01). However, there is no significant difference between dams and traditional diversions, and similarly, modern and traditional diversions. The result also shows that 65% of the farmers are highly satisfied, some moderately satisfied (34%) and very few not satisfied (1%). Finally, alternative mechanisms must be put in place to update scientific methodologies and technologies in relation to water irrigation management and need instruments which help improve the water use efficiency in small-scale irrigation schemes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2021
Event2021 International Conference on Environment and Society - Florida International University, Florida, United States
Duration: 22 Nov 202123 Nov 2021


Conference2021 International Conference on Environment and Society
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address

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