Drip Watering Regimes on Growth Performance, Yield, and Water Use Efficiency of Sorghum in Semi-arid Environment of Tanzania: Effects

  • Athuman Juma MahindaEmail author
  • Method Kilasara
  • Charles K. K. Gachene
Reference work entry


The inadequacy of water for crop production due to low and unreliable rainfall is the characteristic of dryland areas, including Tanzania, whose more than 60% of its arable land is prone to drought and has high frequencies of crop failure. In enhancing climate change resilience for crop production in these areas, field trials were conducted in the semi-arid environment of central Tanzania to assess the effectiveness of three drip watering regimes on the growth performance, grain yield, and water use efficiency (WUE) of sorghum. The irrigation treatments, irrigating early in the morning (EM), late in the evening (LE), and both early in the morning and late in the evening (ELE), were replicated thrice in a randomized complete block design for the two seasons. The results showed that sorghum grain yield and growth parameters were significantly higher (p <0.05) by almost two-fold when the crop was irrigated twice a day compared to the single drip watering regimes. The maximum grain yield (13.12 t/ha) and biomass (24.91 t/ha) were recorded in sorghum irrigated twice a day in the dry and dry-wet season, respectively. While the highest WUE (4.53) was registered from the sorghum irrigated twice a day in the dry-wet season, the lowest WUE (1.97) was registered in sorghum irrigated late in the evening in the dry season. The findings suggest that, although irrigating early in the morning or late in the evening in dry-wet season results in nine times more grain yield than under rain-fed condition (0.9 t/ha), it is recommended to irrigate sorghum twice a day, not only in the dry season but also during the rainfall season by supplementing hydric deficit for a higher growth performance, grain yield, and efficient water productivity.


Climate change Water scarcity Crop failure Drought resilience Dryland areas Drip irrigation Irrigation in the morning Irrigation in the evening Hydric deficit Sorghum performance 


  1. Abdel-Motagally F (2010) Evaluation of water use efficiency under different water regimes grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor, L.). World J Agric Sci 6(5):499–505. IDOSI Publication. Faisalabad, PakistanGoogle Scholar
  2. Adzemi M, Ibrahim W (2014) Effect of regulated deficit irrigation on photosynthesis, photos synthetic active radiation on the yield of Sorghum cultivar. J Biol Agric Healthc 4(2): 2224–3208. International Institute for Science, Technology and Education, USAGoogle Scholar
  3. Ahmed S, Diffenbaugh N, Hertel T et al (2011) Climate volatility and poverty vulnerability in Tanzania. Glob Environ Chang 21(1):46–55. Pergamon Press, United KingdomCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Allen R, Pereira L, Raes, D et al (1998) Crop evapotranspiration-Guideiline for cimputing crop water requirement, FAO irrigation and drainage paper no. 56, vol 56, no 97. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, pp 1–300Google Scholar
  5. Assefa Y, Staggenborg S, Prasad V (2010) Grain sorghum water requirement and responses to drought stress: crop management. A review. Crop Manage Plant Management Network, United Kingdom. Scholar
  6. Bahashti A, Behbood F (2010) Dry matter accumulation and remobilization in grain sorghum genotypes (Sorghum bicolor, L.) under drought stress. Aust J Crop Sci 4(3):185–189. Southern Cross Journal, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  7. Blum A (1996) Crop responses to drought and the interpretation of adaptation. Plant Growth Regul 20(2):135–148. Springer, NetherlandsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Challinor A, Wheeler T, Craufurd P et al (2005) Simulation of the impact of high-temperature stress on annual crop yields. Agric For Meteorol 135(1):180–189. Elsevier BV, NetherlandsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Challinor A, Ewert F, Arnold S et al (2009) Crops and climate. Environ Sci Policy 11(7):642–654. Elsevier Inc, United StatesGoogle Scholar
  10. Challinor A, Simelton E, Fraser E 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):034012. Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd, United KingdomCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. FAO (2013) Yield response to water: the original FAO water production function. FAO, Rome. Visited at on 15 May 2017Google Scholar
  12. FAO (2014) FAOSTAT, DATA: production/yield quantities of Sorghum in Word+(Total), item sorghum, 1994–2014. FAO, Rome. Visited at on 2 Aug 2017Google Scholar
  13. FAO- Food Security Department (1999) Sorghum post-harvest operations. In: Danilo M, Beverly L (eds) INPho: post-harvest compendium. Natural Resource Institute, FAO, Ghana, pp 1–33. Visited at on 16 June 2017Google Scholar
  14. Gregory P, Ingram J, Brklacich M (2005) Climate change and food security. Philos Trans R Soc B Biol Sci 360(1463):2139–2148. The Royal Society Publishing, United KingdomCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Guang-Cheng S, Zhan-Yua Z, Nac L et al (2008) Comparative effects of deficit irrigation (DI) and partial rootzone drying (PRD) on soil water distribution, water use, growth and yield in greenhouse grown hot pepper. Sci Hortic 19(1):11–16. Elsevier BV, NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  16. Hatibu N, Mahoo H (1999) Rainwater harvesting technologies for agricultural production. A case for Dodoma, Tanzania. In: Kaumbutho P, Simalenga T (eds) Conservation tillage with animal traction. A resource book of the Animal Traction Network for Eastern and Southern Africa (ATNESA). Animal Traction Network for Eastern and Southern Africa (ATNESA), Harare, p 173. Institute for Strategic Studies, South AfricaGoogle Scholar
  17. Hossein N, Siddique K, Palta J (2009) Effect of soil moisture content on seedling emergence and early growth of some chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) genotypes. J Agric Sci Technol 11(4): 401–441. University of Tarbiat Moderres-Faculty of Agriculture, IranGoogle Scholar
  18. IPCC (2014) Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Working group II of IPCC report on 31th, March 2014. Imperial College Press, London. Visited on 5 Apr 2017 at Scholar
  19. Jarvis A, Ramirez J, Anderson B et al (2010) Scenarios of climate change within the context of agriculture. In: Reynolds M (ed) Climate change and crop production. CAB International Publishers, Wallingford, pp 9–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jerry K, Tim H, Andre D et al (2012) Climate change impacts on crop productivity in Africa and South Asia. Environ Res Lett 7(3):034032. Reading and Cranfield Universities, United KingdomCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kangalawe R, Lymo J (2013) Climate change, adaptive strategies and rural livelihood in semi-arid, Tanzania. Nat Resour 4:266–278. Scientific Research Publishing Inc. United KingdomGoogle Scholar
  22. Katerji N, Van-Hoorn J, Hamdy A (2003) Salinity effect on crop development and analysis of salt tolerance according to several classification methods. Agric Water Manag 62(1):37–66. Elsevier BV, NetherlandsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kilasara M, Boa M, Sway E 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: Lal R, Singh B, Mwaseba D et al (eds) Sustainable intensification to advance food security and enhance climate resilience in Africa. Springer, Cham/Heidelberg, pp 255–271Google Scholar
  24. Kiniry J, Tischler C, Rosenthal W et al (1992) Nonstructural carbohydrate utilization by Sorghum and maize shaded during grain growth. Crop Sci 32:131–137. Crop Science Society of America, United States of AmericaCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. MAFC (2013) Irrigation water management. Technical handbook no. 6. Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, MAFC, Dar-es-salaam, pp 12–64Google Scholar
  26. Mahinda A (2014) Effect of drip irrigation on the production and economic returns of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) in semi-arid areas of Tanzania. Master dissertation, University of Nairobi, Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology (LARMAT), University of Nairobi Research Archive, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  27. Mahinda A, Gachene C, Kilasara M (2016) Economic impact of drip irrigation regimes on Sorghum production in semi-arid areas of Tanzania. In: Lal R, Kraybill D, Hansen D et al (eds) Climate change and multi-dimensional sustainability in African agriculture. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 227–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mahinda A, Kilasara M, Gachene C (2017) Effect of drip irrigation regimes on the growth performance, yield and water use efficiency of Sorghum bicolor in the semi-arid areas of Tanzania. In: Simó I, Poch R, Pla I (eds) Extended abstracts of the 1st world conference on soil and water conservation under global change – CONSOWA. 12–16 June 2017, Lleida, p 263. ISBN: 978-84-697-2909-0Google Scholar
  29. Mbwaga A, Riches C, Ejeta G (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. World Scientific, Singapore, pp 253–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McWilliams D (2002) Drought strategies for corn and grain Sorghum. Cooperative extension services, 580. New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, p 77Google Scholar
  31. Monsour F (2013) Effect of irrigation regimes and polymer on dry matter, yield and several physiological traits of forage sorghum variety. ‘Speedfeed’. Afr J Biotechnol 12(51): 7074–7080. Academic Journal, NigeriaGoogle Scholar
  32. Morison J, Baker N, Mullineaux P et al (2008) Improving water use in crop production. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 363:639–658. The Royal Society Publishing, United KingdomCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moseki B, Dintwe K (2011) Effect of water stress on photosynthetic characteristics of two sorghum cultivars. Afr J Biotechnol 5(1):89–91. Academic Journal, NigeriaGoogle Scholar
  34. Okalebo J, Gathua K, Woomer P (2002) Laboratory methods of soil and plant analysis; a working manual, 2nd edn. TSBF-CIAT and SACRED Africa, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  35. Pages S, Karanja D, Mbwaga AM et al (2010) The underlying cause of the 2009 sorghum failure in Kongwa district and its implication for Tanzania’s vulnerability to climate change. Food Secur 2(2):157–167. Springer Publishing, NetherlandsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Park D, White S, McCarty L et al (2014) Interpretation irrigation water quality report. Water Resour CU-14-700. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Services: South Carolina Counties, United StatesGoogle Scholar
  37. Rodima-Taylor D (2012) Social innovation and climate adaptation: local collective action in diversifying Tanzania. Appl Geogr 33(1):128–134. Pergamon Press, United KingdomCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Salih A, Ali I, Lux A et al (1999) Rooting, water uptake, and xylem structure adaptation to the drought of two sorghum cultivars. Crop Sci 39(1):168–173. Crop Science Society of America, United StatesCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Seleshi BA, Philoppe L, Tafa T (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
  40. Shangguan Z, Shao M, Dyckmans J (1999) Interaction of osmotic adjustment and photosynthesis in winter wheat under soil drought. J Plant Physiol 154(5–6):753–758. Elsevier GmbH-Urnan un Fischer, GermanyCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Shemdoe R (2011) Tracking effective indigenous adaptation strategies on impacts of climate variability on food security and health of subsistence farmers in Tanzania. Working research paper. African Technology Policy Studies Network, Nairobi. Visited on 14 June 2017 at Scholar
  42. Stichler C, Fipp G (2003) Irrigation in south and south-central Texas. AgricLife communication and marketing, Texas coop Ext. Pub. L-54342-03. Texas A and M University, College Station, pp 1–6Google Scholar
  43. Stone L, Schlegel A (2006) Yield-water supply relationship of grain sorghum and winter wheat. Agron J 98(5):1359–1366. American Society of Agronomy, Inc. United StatesCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Thorton P, Jones P, Ericksen P et al (2011) Agriculture and food systems in Sub-Saharan Africa in a 4 °C+ world. Philos Trans R Soc A Math Phys Eng Sci 369(1934):117–136. The Royal Society Publishing, United KingdomCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Unlu M, Steduto P (2000) Comparison of photosynthetic water use efficiency of sweet sorghum at canopy and leaf scales. J Agric 24(4):519–525. Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey, TurkeyGoogle Scholar
  46. Wim B, Roger S, Rice C et al (2007) GenStat discovery edition for everyday use. ICRAF newsletter: 117. ICRAF, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  47. Younis M, El-Shahaby O, Abo-Hamed S et al (2000) Effect of water stress on growth, pigments and CO2 assimilation in three Sorghum cultivars. J Agron Crop Sci 185(2):73–82. Wiley-Blackwell Velerg GmbH, GermanyCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Zhang Y, Eloise Q, Liu Y, Shen 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(2):107–122. Elsevier BV, NetherlandsCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Athuman Juma Mahinda
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  • Method Kilasara
    • 3
  • Charles K. K. Gachene
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural EngineeringUniversity of Dar es SalaamDar es SalaamTanzania
  2. 2.Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology (LARMAT)University of NairobiNairobiKenya
  3. 3.Department of Soil and Geological SciencesSokoine University of AgricultureMorogoroTanzania
  4. 4.Environmental Science and TechnologyKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  5. 5.Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI)-Makutupora CentreDodomaTanzania
  6. 6.Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research OrganisationNairobiKenya

Personalised recommendations