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Appraisal of Groundwater Potential of Fadama Areas within Northern Nigeria: A Review

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: Nigeria is a country endowed with alluvial aquifers that occur along major river valleys, in low lying areas which are frequent to flooding during the rainy season. They are scattered across the ecological zones of Guinea savannah, Sudan savannah and the Sahel Savannah and are the thickest along the river Niger and river Benue. The irrigated flood plains (Fadama) are formed by the deposition of transported weathered exogenic terrigenous materials derived from the surrounding basement rocks. These shallow aquifers are mostly unconfined and are recharged through flash flooding events which make them hold great groundwater resources for dry season farming. The fertility of the soils with their residual moisture content makes them attractive for dry season farming. The potential and importance of Fadama agriculture for food production and economic development are crucial, given the recent rising food prices, climatic changes, environmental risks associated with “modern” agriculture, modelled farming systems and population growth. Fadama areas are therefore of critical importance to the survival and economic development of millions of rural dwellers. This paper reviews the groundwater potential of the Floodplains of Fadama for dry farming systems in semi-arid northern Nigeria.

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