Farmers’ Perceptions on the Productivity of Water in Agriculture: A Case Study at Debre Kidane Watershed, Eastern Tigray, Ethiopia
AbstractAwareness of the knowledge of farmers on the productivity of water in agriculture (PWA) is the basis for all irrigation activities. This paper assesses the current knowledge level of farmers towards PWA in the Debre Kidane watershed which is located in eastern Tigray. It also identifies obstacles regarding the spread of knowledge of PWA and indicates the best knowledge-disseminating strategies and tools for raising awareness about PWA. Data for the study was obtained from a formal household questionnaire survey, key informant discussion and direct observations of farmers’ fields. In the study area, the concept of PWA is new. All the farmers measure the crop harvested but not the volume of water used to produce it. Almost none of the irrigators know when their crop needs water and when to stop irrigating their crop. However, farmers are keen to discover methods which could help them to produce more crops per drops of water. Consequently, farmers indicated that training is the most suitable knowledge-sharing strategy for creating awareness about PWA, and its absence is the barrier that hinders them from recording PWA. Furthermore, they pointed out that training given through demonstration is their method of preference. Most of the farmers irrigate their farmland by checking the availability of the water in their shallow wells and irrigating their crop until the furrow holds up water. For better utilization of the groundwater resources in the area, the farmers have to be introduced to the concept of PWA.
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