Economic Impact of Drip Irrigation Regimes on Sorghum Production in Semi-arid Areas of Tanzania

  • A. J. MahindaEmail author
  • C. K. K. Gachene
  • M. Kilasara


The need for increasing crops yield production to justify economic returns, improve food security, sustain scarce water resources, and safeguard the environment under the challenges of climate change and variability demands the development of promising drip-irrigation regimes. Field trials were conducted in the semi-arid area of central Tanzania with the aim of assessing the impact of three drip-watering regimes on the production and economic returns from sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). The irrigation treatments were—irrigating early in the morning (EM), late in the evening (EL), and both early in the morning and late in the evening (ELE). Each treatment was replicated three times in a randomized complete block design. The maximum yield of 13.12 t/ha with an economic return of Tanzania shilling 6,675,900/= was obtained when sorghum was irrigated twice a day during the dry season. Although irrigating twice a day in the dry season resulted in higher yield, net income was higher (7,607,780/=) in the dry–wet season. The results indicate that irrigating early in the morning or late in the evening resulted in more yield than the rainfed condition. However, it was economically viable to irrigate twice a day because this had the benefit of generating higher economic returns in the study area.


Drip irrigation Semi-arid areas Watering regimes Sorghum production Economic returns Climate change 


  1. Adzemi MA, Ibrahim W (2014) Effect of regulated deficit irrigation on photosynthesis, photosynthetic active radiation on yield of sorghum cultivar. J Biol Agric Healthc 4(2):2224–3208Google Scholar
  2. Ahmed SA et al (2011) Climate volatility and poverty vulnerability in Tanzania. Glob Environ Change 21(1):46–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Assefa Y et al (2010) Grain sorghum water requirement and responses to drought stress: crop management. Accessed 24 May 2014
  4. Beddington J (2010) Food security: contributions from science to a new and greener revolution. Philos Trans R Soc B 365:61–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blum A (1996) Crop responses to drought and the interpretation of adaptation. J Plant Growth Regul 20:135–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Challinor AJ et al (2005) Simulation of the impact of high temperature stress on annual crop yields. Agric For Meteorol 135(1–4):180–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Challinor AJ et al (2009) Crops and climate change: progress, trends, and challenges in simulating impacts and informing adaptation. J Exp Bot 60(10):2775–2789CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Challinor AJ et al (2010) Increased crop failure due to climate change: assessing adaptation options using models and socio-economic data for wheat in China. Environ Res Lett 5(3):034012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dodd IC (2009) Rhizosphere manipulations to maximize ‘crop per drop’ during deficit irrigation. J Exp Bot 60:2454–2459CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Famine Early Warning System Network (2014) Stable food prices across the country ensure food access for poor households. Accessed 15 May 2014
  11. Food and Agriculture Organization (2013) Yield response to water: the original FAO water production function. Accessed 15 May 2014
  12. Food and Agriculture Organization—United Nations (1987) Committee on agriculture (9th session). Improving productivity of dryland areas. Accessed 15 May 2015
  13. Food and Agriculture Organization—United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (1989) Soil map of the world. Soil resources report 60. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
  14. Garrity DP et al (1984) Change in grain sorghum stomata and photosynthetic response to moisture stress across growth stages. Crop Sci 24:441–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gimbage EM et al (2014) Livelihood option and food insecurity in marginal and semi-arid areas of Same district, Tanzania. Int J Agric Ext 2014:75–91Google Scholar
  16. Hatibu N, Mahoo H (1999) Rainwater harvesting technologies for agricultural production. A case study for Dodoma, Tanzania. In: Kaumbutho PG, Simalenga TE (eds) Conservation tillage with animal traction. A resource book of the Animal Traction Network for Eastern and Southern Africa (ATNESA), Harare, Zimbabwe. ITDG publishing, pp 161–171Google Scholar
  17. International Institute for Sustainable Development (2006) Arid and semi-arid lands: characteristics and importance. Accessed 15 May 2015
  18. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014) Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability: regional aspects. Cambridge University Press.,+adaptation,+and+vulnerability&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjY9b7MosjLAhVEI5QKHdx7CQsQgQMIGjAA. Accessed 5 April 2014
  19. Jerry K et al (2012) Climate change impacts on crop productivity in Africa and South Asia. Environ Res Lett. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/7/3/034032 Google Scholar
  20. Katerji N et al (2003) Salinity effect on crop development and analysis of salt tolerance according to several classification methods. Agric Water Manag 62(1):37–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kilasara M et al (2015) Effect of in situ soil water harvesting techniques and local plant nutrient sources on grain yield of drought-resistant Sorghum varieties in semi-arid zone, Tanzania. In: Sustainable intensification to advance food security and enhance climate resilience in Africa. Springer, Berlin, pp 255–271Google Scholar
  22. Kraybill D, Michael K (2009) Analysis of relative profitability of key Ugandan agricultural enterprises by agricultural production zone. Uganda Strategy Support Program (USSP) brief no. 7. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  23. Kuboja NM, Temu AE (2013) comparative economic analysis of tobacco and groundnut farming in Urambo district, Tabora, Tanzania. J Econ Sustain Dev 4(19):2222–2855Google Scholar
  24. Mbwaga AM et al (2007) Integrated striga management to meet sorghum market demands in Tanzania. In: Ejete G, Gressel J (eds) Integrated new technologies for striga control towards ending the witch-hunt. Scientific Publishing Co Ltd., Singapore, pp 253–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. McWilliams D (2003) Drought strategies for corn and grain sorghum. Cooperative Extension Service, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New MexicoGoogle Scholar
  26. Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (2013) Irrigation water management, Technical handbook no. 6. Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, pp 112–118Google Scholar
  27. Moroke TS et al (2005) Soil water and root distribution of three dry land crops. Soil Sci Soc Am J 69:197–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Msanya BM, Budotela GMR (1994) Soil classification: Vyeyula—Makutupora; thereafter referred to as DU3. Makutupora—Dodoma Capital city. A part of thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of the degree of master of science in soil science and land management at Sokoine university of Agriculture, pp 94–17Google Scholar
  29. Mvungi A et al (2005) Management of water for irrigation agriculture in semi-arid areas: problem and prospect. Phys Chem Earth Parts A/B/C 809–817(30):11–16Google Scholar
  30. Okalebo JT et al (2002) Laboratory methods of soil and plant analysis; a working manual, 2nd edn. TSBF-CIAT and SACRED Africa, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  31. Olorunsanya EO, Akinyemi OO (2004) Gross margin analysis of maize based cropping system in Oyo State Nigeria. Int J Agric Dev 5:129–133Google Scholar
  32. Rodima-Taylor D (2012) Social innovation and climate adaptation: local collective action in diversifying Tanzania. Appl Geogr 33(1):128–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Saadan HM et al (2000) Performance of sorghum variety Macia under multiple environments in Tanzania. ISMN 41(10–12):41Google Scholar
  34. Seleshi BA et al (2009) Soil-plant-water relationship; module 3. Improving Productivity and Market Success (IPMS) of Ethiopian Farmers Project and Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Addis Ababa, EthiopiaGoogle Scholar
  35. Sepaskhah AR, Ghasemi MM (2008) Every-other furrow irrigation with different irrigation intervals for sorghum. Pak J Biol Sci 11(9):1234–1239CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Shangguan Z et al (1999) Interaction of osmotic adjustment and photosynthesis in winter wheat under soil drought. J Plant Physiol 154:753–758CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Shemdoe RS (2011) Tracking effective indigenous adaptation strategies on impacts of climate variability on food security and health of subsistence farmers in Tanzania. In: African Technology Policy Studies Network Working Paper Series No. 51. Accessed 14 June 2015
  38. Shemdoe RS et al (2009) Increasing crop yield in water scarce environments using locally available materials: an experience from semi-arid areas in Mpwapwa District, Central Tanzania. Agric Water Manag 96(6):963–968CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sijali IV (2001) Drip irrigation; option for smallholder farmers in Eastern and Southern Africa. RELIMA, Technical Handbook, vol 24. Published by Sida’s Regional Land Management Unit, pp 14–51Google Scholar
  40. Soil Survey Staff (1990) Keys to soil taxonomy. United States Department of Agriculture. Soil Management Support Services. SMSS Technical Monograph No. 19. Virginia Polytechnic and State. United States Department of Agriculture. Natural Resources Conservation Service, p 644Google Scholar
  41. Stichler C, Fipp G (2003) Irrigation in south and south central Texas. Texas Cooperative Extension Pub. L-54342-03. Texas A&M University, College Station, TXGoogle Scholar
  42. Stone LR, Schlegel AJ (2006) Yield-water supply relationship of grain sorghum and winter wheat. Agron J 98:1359–1366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Tanzania Meteorological Agency (2014) Weather forecast; ISO 9001:2008 Certified. In: Aeronautical Meteorological Services. Accessed 5 May 2014
  44. Thorton PK, Jones PG (2003) The potential impacts of climate change in tropical agriculture: the case of maize in Africa and Latin America in 2055. Glob Environ Change 13:51–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Thurlow J, Wobster P (2003) Poverty focused. Social accounting matrices for Tanzania. TMD discussion paper no. 112. International Food Policy Research Institute—Trade and Macroeconomics Division, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  46. Viticulture Research and Training Centre-Makutupora (2014) Background information: Central zone is characterized by mono-modal rainfall pattern. Accessed 12 July 2014
  47. Wim B et al (2007) GenStat discovery 4th edition for everyday use. ICRAF, Nairobi, p 117Google Scholar
  48. Zhang Y et al (2004) Effect of soil water deficit on evapotranspiration, crop yield and water use efficiency in the North China Plain. Agric Water Manag 64:107–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. Mahinda
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • C. K. K. Gachene
    • 1
  • M. Kilasara
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology (LARMAT)University of NairobiNairobiKenya
  2. 2.Department of Soil ScienceSokoine University of AgricultureChuo Kikuu, MorogoroTanzania
  3. 3.Agricultural Research Institute-MakutuporaDodomaTanzania
  4. 4.Department of Agricultural EngineeringUniversity of Dar es SalaamDar es SalaamTanzania

Personalised recommendations