Water management in Rice cultivation, by Sanusi Muyinatu

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A group photograph after the workshop
A group photograph after the workshop

The importance of food is obvious and essential.

Healthy food provides us the nutrients and energy to develop and grow, be active and healthy, to move, play, work, think and learn.

Foods are directly related to our body, mental and social health because each food or liquid contains particular nutrition such as carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, fats, etc, which are very necessary for our physical and mental growth.

One of the most common foods across the world is Rice and as a result there have been many Research work in the past and presently on this commonly consumed food.

Thus, on the 24th of October 2021, a Scientist and PhD student of Wageningen University and Research (WUR), the Netherlands, Muyinatu Mobolanle Sanusi who is also a lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State, held a workshop for Rice farmers in Wasinmi, Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State.

The workshop served as a feedback medium to the farmers, majority of who were the respondents in a research study titled “Economics of Water security and Rural Households’ Livelihood Activities in Southwest Nigeria in the Nexus of a Changing Climate”.

A background of the research indicates that Rice cultivation in Nigeria is rain fed and as such, once the rain stops, Rice can only be cultivated once in the country and, in some instances, excessive rainfall leading to flooding causes loss of the crops in some years and scarcity or inadequate rainfall, leading to more losses in other years.

However, the aim of the research is to contribute to water management in Rice cultivation in terms of irrigation during the period of scarcity (drought) and drainage during the period of surplus/excess (flood); ultimately, making Rice cultivation possible for an optimum of trice a year instead of once (given a production period of four months).

The study found out that Rice farmers in the area were water insecure and that there is no alternative to irrigation in order to engender a sustainable Rice production system.

More so, this was underscored by the event of the 2020 production season with the irregular rainfall pattern which occasioned a sudden seizure of rainfall from August to October of the year 2020 (a period when Rice panicles needed water for “filling up”).

Subsequently, Rice yield/output was badly hit. The interactions during the workshop brought to the fore the needed ancillary support for producers from stakeholders particularly the government in terms of provision of infrastructure especially motorable road network, sustainable land use programme (most producers rent land and this is not amenable to long term investment such as irrigation facilities), market access as well as adaptable/adoptable and affordable smallholder-based post-harvest processing technology.

The Scientist assured the participants that the workshop has indeed served the purpose of its conduct and promised that the feedback will be utilized by relevant stakeholders in designing and implementing action plan(s) to actualize recommendations emanating from the research study.

 

Details PhD candidate:-

Name: SANUSI Muyinatu Mobolanle

Institution: Wageningen University and Research

Chair group: Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy

Science group: Social Sciences

Graduate School: WASS (Wageningen School of Social Sciences)

Programme: Sandwich PhD

Sponsorship: Dutch Nuffic grant

Promotors: prof. dr. JHH (Justus) Wesseler           (Wageningen University and Research)

  1. LKE (Liesbeth) Dries (Wageningen University and Research)
  2. Babatunde. S. Bada                     (Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta)

PhD project start date: 15th December, 2017

PhD project (Proposed) end date: 1st February, 2023

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