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2011 (Vol. 3, Issue: 4)
Article Information:

Adapting Agriculture to Seasonal Floods in the Aya River Basin, Southeastern Nigeria

Pius B. Utang and Imoh J. Ekpoh
Corresponding Author:  Pius B. Utang 

Key words:  Adaptation, complementary resource, flash flood, flood recession, food security, peak flow, sustainable agriculture
Vol. 3 , (4): 352-358
Submitted Accepted Published
2011 April, 23 2011 July, 02 2011 July, 20

The study determined the pattern of seasonal floods and highlighted the adaptation practices of the floodplain communities for sustainable agriculture. Historical data on water level and corresponding rainfall during the months of June to October were collected from records, while field observations were carried out to determine the inundation levels. Indigenous coping strategies were identified through semi-structured interviews. Three types of peak water levels were identified, with low peaks more common, followed by moderate peaks, while very high peaks were rare. Majority of the seasonal floods were in the months of September and October, during full maturity of the crops cultivated in the floodplains and harvest is awaited. Early peaks (between June and July) were few and recognized as being mostly flashy. Rainfall-runoff relationship was weak, albeit significant, even as the peak pattern did not graphically synchronize rainfall. This confirmed that most of the peaks were as a result antecedent rains or rains from the headwater zones. The generally consistent concentrations of low to moderate flows were useful for the flood recessional cultivation. The high flows (>/= 5m) were generally considered to be flashy and harmful to the farmers, particularly early plantings. Due to the uncertainty and rarity of high peaks, flood recession agricultural practices remained the only adaptation option available to the local communities. Watershed management was recommended to sustain existing regime, while artificial irrigation as patchily practiced should be intensified as additional impetus for sustainable agriculture and food security.
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  Cite this Reference:
Pius B. Utang and Imoh J. Ekpoh, 2011. Adapting Agriculture to Seasonal Floods in the Aya River Basin, Southeastern Nigeria.  Asian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 3(4): 352-358.
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ISSN (Online):  2041-3890
ISSN (Print):   2041-3882
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