Introducing Rigid Gated Pipe Irrigation Method to Sudan a Pilot Project in Gezira Scheme

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Introducing Rigid Gated Pipe Irrigation Method to Sudan a Pilot Project in Gezira Scheme
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Introducing Rigid Gated Pipe Irrigation Method to Sudan a Pilot Project in Gezira Scheme

The Gezira and Almanagil scheme cover approximately 900,000 hectares (2.2 Million acres) of irrigated land farmed by 144,000 farmers. The total farmland of the scheme is divided into 18 sections (administrative units) of approximately 50,000 ha each. The current gravity irrigation from the Sennar Dam down to the minor canals is suitable and cost-effective because of the natural slope from south to north and the current infrastructure. However, the situation of the on-farm water distribution in each production unit of 37 ha area is severely defective. This is a proposal to train Gezira Scheme farmers to use Rigid Gated-Pipe (RGP) irrigation to replace laborious out-dated short-furrow-basin method. Rigid gated-pipe irrigation is a proven technology commonly used in the USA in small- and large-scale farms. The project will train 180 farmers to: 1) install water delivery gates (DamGate®) in irrigation pipes, 2) learn to use RGP to manage water delivery in their farms and 3) schedule irrigation for optimum crop establishment. Adoption of RGP irrigation will lead to: 20% increase in crop yield, conserve irrigation water by approximately 30%, reduce exposure to health hazards in water ditches, lead to decent work conditions and higher income. The on-farm training will be used to establish RGP method in a single production unit of 37 ha (named Nimra) in the 18 sections of the Gezira Scheme.

Rationale and current situation:

The on-farm water delivery and distribution method known as Angaya i.e. irrigating short furrows of 20 meter-long in 14 basins in each 0.42 ha was adopted for irrigation about 80 years ago. This current method is laborious, difficult to deliver optimum water quantities, contributes to water logging, inadequate crop establishment and hence low crop yield. Additionally, the farm land (Hawasha) has totally transformed to uneven unmanageable surfaces for irrigation due to Angaya system. The open ditches (tertiary canals) are sources of health hazards and diseases such as malaria and bilharzia. The current water distribution cause social tensions between farmers, frustration and led to abandoning farming altogether. Today’s farmers (in the 21st century) are eager to adopt new technologies and deserve to be trained to use modern farming technologies.

The current situation of the irrigation system in Gezira is affected by many factors including sedimentation and weed infestation at the lower levels of canalization. The irrigation system in Gezira was damaged because of too many factors including out-dated infrastructures and lack of appropriate farming policies. Modernization of irrigation system in Gezira scheme is over-due.

Pilot Project Title: Modernization of Furrow Irrigation in Gezira Scheme Using Rigid Gated Pipe

Partnership:

  1. Gezira and Almanagil Scheme, Ministry of Agriculture- Barakat, Gezira-Sudan
  2. Hydraulic Research Centre- Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources- Sudan
  3. Sudan NextGen Organization (Submitted by Dr. Imad A. Eujayl +12082937780)
  4. Gezira Farmers Development Initiative (Eng. Omar Yousif +249912962082)

 Rationale and current situation:

The on-farm water delivery and distribution method known as Angaya i.e. irrigating short furrows of 20 meter-long in 14 basins in each 0.42 ha was adopted for irrigation about 80 years ago. This current method is laborious, difficult to deliver optimum water quantities, contributes to water logging, inadequate crop establishment and hence low crop yield. Additionally, the farm land (Hawasha) has totally transformed to uneven unmanageable surfaces for irrigation due to Angaya system. The open ditches (tertiary canals) are sources of health hazards and diseases such as malaria and bilharzia. The current water distribution cause social tensions between farmers, frustration and led to abandoning farming altogether. Today’s farmers (in the 21st century) are eager to adopt new technologies and deserve to be trained to use modern farming technologies.

The current situation of the irrigation system in Gezira is affected by many factors including sedimentation and weed infestation at the lower levels of canalization. The irrigation system in Gezira was damaged because of too many factors including out-dated infrastructures and lack of appropriate farming policies. Modernization of irrigation system in Gezira scheme is over-due.

 

Objectives:

  1. To train 180 farmers from The Gezira and Almanagil scheme to use Rigid Gated Pipe (RGP) irrigation method.
  2. To set pilot projects to practice farming using RGP irrigation method

 

 

Implementation, methodology and Impact:

 

  1. Farmers Training:

 

  1. Class Training (2 days):
  2. Each class will consist of 20 farmers 2 days in-class lessons and 3 days field work.
  3. Training topics:
  4. Basics of irrigation, hydraulic head and flow
  5. Principles of on-farm irrigation water management
  6. Importance of optimum irrigation and crop water requirement
  7. Awareness of health hazards in irrigation water in Gezira & Almanagil

 

  1. On-Farm Training (3 days):
  2. PVC pipe quality, care, handling and repair
  3. Hands-on hole cutting in PVC pipes to fit Gates
  4. DamGates ® parts and installation on PVC pipes
  5. Hands-on pipe joining practice and safety

 

  1. Materials Required for Training and Pilot projects:

 

  1. Farmland preparations:
  2. Select best levelled Nimra on best minor in each of the 18 section
  3. Land preparation: Chisel plough repeated harrowing to achieve friable soil
  4. Laser levelling: Required with a gentle slope (less than 0.05%).
  5. Furrow and ridge preparation: As per crop recommendation
  1. RGP system requirements:
  2. PVC Pipe: Total 1400 meters of 8" & 10” PVC pipe per Nimra (Locally purchased).
  3. Furrow Gates: Total of 1800 DamGates® required per Nimra (imported from the USA)
  4. Water riser and trash screens: To control water flow, improve head and screen trash.
  5. Control valves: 3 units control and flush of sediment
  1. Expected deliverables and impact:
  2. Knowledgeable farmers of Rigid-Gated Pipe irrigation method
  3. Demonstrate RGP feasibility and impact on Gezira small farms
  4. Available training resources for building capacity for promotion of best irrigation practices
  5. Reduce exposure to health hazards and provide decent working conditions
  6. Adopt rigid gated-pipe (RGP) irrigation method to irrigate long furrows.

Estimated Budget:

 

Approximate cost of training of 180 farmers in 18 units (Nimra) and the pilot project in 680 hectares:

 

Item Description Unit Approx. (US$) Total (US$)
Training Logistics 180 farmers (5 days) 1 200.0            36,000.0
Land preparation Cleaning, chisel, harrow 37 ha 1,800.0            32,400.0
Farm Laser Levelling Slope > 0.05% 37 ha 1,800.0            32,400.0
Seed bed preparation Long friable furrows 37 ha 900.0            16,200.0
PVC pipes 8” & 10” Gasketed, 3mm 1400 m 7,000.00          126,000.0
Furrow Gates 8”-12” Dam Gate® 1800 pcs 4,500.0            81,000.0
Hole cutter machine Triad-Merrick 1 3,500.0              3,500.0
Pipe-Joiner machine  Reed-044- 1 1,800.0              1,800.0
Water Riser Galv. Steel Barrel 1 unit 350.0              6,300.0
Navi/Flush valves 8”X8” Steel valves 3 units 860.0            15,480.0
Installation & logistics 3 days 37 ha 90.0              1,620.0
Approx. Total          352,700.0

 

Benefits of Rigid Gated-Pipe (RGP) compared to current irrigation method

 

Farmland use, irrigation efficiency and crop-stand:

  1. RGP increases farmland use by at least 15%, as it eliminates all open ditches.
  2. RGP reduces irrigation water use by approx. 30% as water is directed to a single furrow. It reduces evaporation from all open ditches, seepage, weeds, run-off waters and overwatering.
  3. RGP increases furrow irrigation efficiency by approx. 20%.
  4. RGP reduces energy (fuel or electricity) used to pump water by 30% in case of pumped water.
  5. RGP improves crop stand (emergence) because it is easier to prevent overwatering of seedlings.
  6. RGP reduces overall weeds infestation, as weeds in open ditches are major source of weed seed.
  7. RGP increases crop growth uniformity that reduce weed competition.
  1. RGP eliminate the costs of:
  2. Digging, maintenance and weeding of open ditches known as Abu Ishreen.
  3. Digging and earthing-up of small on-farm canal (Abu Sita) every season.
  4. Digging Jadwals and Tagnats (dikes) and Rubatat (borders) every season.
  5. Reduce temporary irrigation laborers. Farmer can irrigate their farms by themselves.
  1. Farming conditions and health hazards:
  2. Reduce exposure of farmer to irrigation waters and mud that are contaminated with agricultural chemicals and pathogens (Malaria and Bilharzia).
  3. Reduce open water surfaces that is favourable for insects and pathogens breeding and harbouring poisonous insects.
  4. It promotes acceptable and decent work conditions. Reduce long hours of backbreaking work under high temperatures to irrigate fields.
  1. Expected yield increase:

To estimate yield, increase due to adopting RGP, there is need to conduct Cost- Benefit Analysis of two seasons data from comparison of the current method with the RGP methods. In general, based on the above information including added 15% farmland, the expected yield increase could be at least 20 to 25% in addition to improving the overall farming and working conditions and the environment.

 

Technical References:

  • NRCS-USDA publication (2000): Irrigation Water Conveyance, Rigid gated pipeline; Conservation practices standards. Natural resources conservation services Pub. Code -430HH.
  • Frisvold, G., C., Sanchez, N. Gollehon, S. Megdal, P. Brown (2018). Evaluating Gravity-Flow Irrigation with Lessons from Yuma, Arizona, USA. Sustainability-MDPI -pages 1-27.
  • Daffa Alla M. Abdel, Wahab Ali M. Adeeb (2014). Comparison between Hydro-Flume and Open Field Head Ditch Irrigation Systems at Kenana Sugar Scheme, Sudan. Agricultural Sciences: Vol. 5, 588-603 Published Online in SciRes. http://www.scirp.org/journal/ashttp://dx.doi.org/10.4236/as.2014.57062

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Project Information

  • National Priorities

    2- Stabilize the Economy

  • SDG Goals

    1- No Poverty, 2- Zero Hunger, 3- Good Health and Well-being, 8- Decent Work and Economic Growth

  • Project Type

    Development, Investment

  • Status

    Vetted, High Impact

  • Entity Type

    Gov, NGO

  • Stage

    In Execution

  • Timeline

    Urgent

  • Measurable Outcomes (Goals)

    1. Increases farmland use by at least 15%, as it eliminates all open ditches (Abu XX and Abu VI).
    2. Reduces irrigation water use by approx. 30% as water is directed to a single furrow. It reduces evaporation from all open ditches, seepage, weeds, run-off waters and over watering.
    3. Increases furrow irrigation efficiency by approx. 20%.
    4. Reduces energy (fuel or electricity) used to pump water by 30% in case of pumped water.
    5. Improves crop stand (emergence) because it is easier to prevent over watering of seedlings.
    6. Reduces overall weeds infestation, as weeds in open ditches are major source of weed seed.
    7. Increases crop growth uniformity that reduce weed competition.
    8. Provide decent work conditions and reduce exposure to water born diseases and chemicals

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