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Food security: Challenges to water resources development in Nigerian

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  131619742,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013

Abstract. The volume of economic drains in indiscriminate importation of agricultural products calls for holistic intervention in sustainable alternative water resources development in the policy of Nigeria. Average annual food product importation into the country stands at N356billion (b) of rice, N635b of wheat, N271b of sugar, $500,000 of vegetable oil. Similarly, youth restiveness orchestrated by breakdown in social and security matters can be controlled through provision of sufficient food. Rainwater, the most environmentally sustainable alternative and cost effective water source is the main objective of this paper. Agriculture adjudged the largest global consumer of water could draw substantial quantity of its water needs from rainfall harvest without mining from the aquifer recharge. Nigeria’s million ha cultivable land and irrigable area of substantial fertility status and optimal rainfall coupled with diverse weather condition across the country is capable of meeting the food requirements of the citizen if utilized with supplemental water resources obtainable from rainwater harvest. Rainwater harvest utilization in food production will minimize groundwater mining and guarantee water sufficiency to agricultural fields during periods of water shortage. A prototype rainwater harvester was developed in NIHORT, Ibadan, tested and evaluated within two seasons of rainfall of 2008 and 2009. The structure consisted of 28 square metre roof surface, two sets of gutter assembly connected with downspouts for capturing water during each storm to sets of reservoirs for storage. A total of 15 cubic metre and 20 cubic metre of water were harvested between August and October, 2008 and 2009 respectively.

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