Challenges and Opportunities of Irrigation Practices in Ethiopia: A Review
Journal of Engineering Research and Reports,
Ethiopia has been started traditional irrigation practice since ancient time for the aim of subsistence food production. Since 1950’s modern irrigation system was introduced in Awash and Rift Valley basins for production of industrial crops. Government, donors and non-governmental organizations are investing to the development of irrigation systems from small to large scale irrigation schemes. As a result, irrigation is developing rapidly. However, its contribution to the national economy is insignificant when compared to rain-fed agriculture. This review was conducted to investigate the irrigation practice challenges and opportunities in Ethiopia. The extension service was inadequate and not packaged. Credit service bureaucracy like group collateral was constrained to improve irrigated crop production. Water governance was done by water users but interference by the government bodies aggravated water use conflicts. Streams drying, percolation and seepage of water are the most challenges. Irrigation created employment opportunity for household members and the rural community and also improved their income. Therefore, policy makers and development practitioners should improve policies and strategies based on the agro-ecology and socio-economic settings of irrigation areas to overcome the challenges and strengthen the opportunities.
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