Irrigation Farmers Should Adopt Good Agriculture Practices for Success
Irrigation farmers should adopt good agriculture management practices for success and establish strong working irrigation management committees to lead the schemes in the execution of all the works, enforcing by-laws and constitution. The irrigation management committee helps to resolve conflicts within the irrigation farmers, a good managed scheme is likely to perform well production wise.
Midlands irrigation Engineer, Eng. Shingirai Zano said that, "farmers should monitor the use of water in the irrigation schemes ,all the structures that conveys water from the source to the field should be in good working condition thus .some leaks has to be avoided water payments to be done in time to avoid disconnections as this disturbs crop production cycles."
Eng. Shingirai Zano, said that, "to avoid water wastages farmers should do irrigation scheduling ,thus when farmers decide when, how often and how much to apply and to avoid under or overwatering their crops farmers carefully had to monitor the weather forecast as well as soil and plant moisture to successfully carry out this practice some measuring devices like raingauges evaporation pans , densitometers and indicator board ,water meters has to be in place so that farmers will be able to monitor water used."
Farmers should use uniform equipment to distribute water uniformly and efficiently to all farmers. Irrigation equipment should always be mantained and kept intact (pumping units, canals, dams, pipelines, emitters, electrical cables, rubber seals,) doing regular checks, replacement oils gland perking and bearings lubrication. Under water management composting and mulching should taken into consideration since it helps improve soil structure and increases water holding capacity hence reducing evaporation, said Eng. Zano.
Schedules for maintenance and repairs must be available stating the time of execution, Schedules to clearly highlight by who and when the operation and maintenance was done. Farmers should have maintenance record books of every maintenance and repairs done .Infrastructure and equipment to be intact and well maintained ,examples of equipment that needs maintenance includes pumping units ,pipelines, canals ,hydrants,rubber seals,laterals, electrical cables ,drip ,lines above all they also needs proper storage facilities when not in use or during offseason.
The irrigation schemes needs to be fenced to secure the premises as well as the infrastructure, so the management committee should appoint a subcommittee that is responsible for overseeing security issues ,security personal should be put in place to guard with all security aids .Fireguards should be erected so as to guard against fires. Farmers should put marks on their equipment for easy identification and this helps them recover when stolen.
Eng. Zano said that, "demographic data of plot holders ( name of farmer, plot size number of farmers, gender) ,assets registers showing type number and model ,operation and maintenance manuals for irrigation infrastructure ,equipment machinery ,standard constitution contents and by-laws,irrigation strategic plans, production records, marketing records, program plans ,financial records ,operational costs bank records are important records that should be kept by irrigating farmers and the reasons for keeping the records is that they can be used for future planning purposes and for reference sake."
Agricultural marketing is all about finding out what consumers need and making profit so farmers should make the products available to consumers at the right time and right quantities so some market researches has to be done before any production, they should be able to understand markets trends for off season production and marketing and develop marketing plans. Farmers should consult AMA for relevant marketing information(list of produce buyers and input suppliers. Products promotions can be done throughadvertising, exhibitions and adding value.
Other practices that farmers can adopt includes having safe environment that is free from health hazards,so health and safety committee should be put in place to train farmers on health and safety ,safe disposal of agricultural waste ,use of ablution facilities ,trainings of chemical handling and lessons on irrigation related diseases
Farmers should develop and implement a financial plan; periodic financial positions that will be showing finances flows, irrigation farmers should generate revenues for system rehabilitation.