keywords: Effect, irrigation, socio-economic, development, Kafur
The study assessed the effects of irrigation farming on socio-economic development in Kafur Local Government area of Katsina State, Nigeria. The study used three hundred and seventy-nine (379) irrigation farmers selected from two registered and functional irrigation Farmers’ Association in Kafur and Mahuta districts. Purposive sampling technique was adopted in the administration of questionnaire to the 379 sampled irrigation farmers. The research centred on primary data such as information on socio-economic and demographic characteristics of farmers, major crops grown and types of technology adopted, land holdings and form of labour deployed, socio-economic benefits of the scheme and constraints to irrigation activities. Descriptive statistics such as frequency counts, averages and percentages was used to summarize the data into tabular forms. Similarly, charts were produced to show the results clearly. Additionally, Pearson Product Moment Correlation was used to test the relationship between irrigation farming and socio-economic development of Kafur LGA. The result indicates that the commonest crops cultivated were tomatoes (44%) and leafy vegetable (31%). Hired labour provided more than half (71.2%) of the labour engaged in irrigation activities. Nearly all, (285) respondents confirmed that a good number of infrastructural facilities such as deep wells, feeder roads, market, shops etc. were built via Sulma Dam Project. Besides, 70, 44 and 39% of respondents rated improved housing condition, improvement in education of children and better quality diet, respectively to be excellent. Correlation matrix of the community development indices indicates a positive and significant relationship between shops and income of irrigation farmers (r = .550, p =0.01) and construction of bridges and feeder roads (r = .527, p =1.000). The Constraints to effective irrigation activities were infestation of pests and disease on tomatoes and leafy vegetables (78%), price fluctuation (10.9%), drought (drying up of dam) (5%) and inadequate finance (3.9%). However, income from irrigation has substantially enhanced the overall economic well-being of irrigation farmers in study area. Hence, the study recommends increase in farmers’ access to loan, improvement in farmers’ knowledge of irrigation farming, intensification of irrigation agriculture, improved access to marketing opportunities and establishment of agro-rural industries.