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Furrow Bed Irrigation System: Installation and Management

Furrow Bed Irrigation System: Installation and Management

Ghani Akbar*, Muhammad Asif, Zafar Islam and Shahid Hameed 

Climate, Energy and Water Research Institute (CEWRI), National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), Park Road, Chak Shahzad, Islamabad.  


Furrow bed is the most efficient traditional surface irrigation method, but has been shown inefficient under actual farm condition in Pakistan. The main reasons being attributed to lack of knowledge of furrow bed design, installation and management. Therefore, this study is aimed to illustrate appropriate installation and management of furrow bed irrigation method for enhancing decision support on farms. Pakistan is a major irrigated agricultural country with more than 90% of crop production coming from irrigated areas. Irrigation water available at farm gates either from surface or groundwater resources are more precious, thus demands a more efficient use. However, unfortunately more than 50% of this water is lost due to poor irrigation management practices on farms. Flooding, flat basin and irregular and unlevelled border irrigation methods are the norms on majority of Pakistani farms, which is inherently inefficient. Sprinkler and drip irrigation are costly and require more technical knowledge, thus negligibly adopted and are generally considered as late time solutions. Although furrow bed irrigation, a relatively more efficient irrigation method, has been adopted, especially for row crops but decision support guidelines for their appropriate installation and management is very limited, thus potential benefits of furrow beds are yet to be achieved on Pakistani farms. Consequently, water productivity of major crops is below global average in general and neighbouring countries of Pakistan in particular. This study has illustrated some key guidelines for the appropriate installation and management of furrow bed irrigation method on farms, which may increase decision support and may lead to increased water productivity. 


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Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Research


Vol. 34, Iss. 1, Pages 1-253


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