Research article
Issue: № 1 (29), 2023


Rice is one of the main crop growths in Mali and the water availability constitutes a limiting factor for rice productivity in Mali. A better monitoring for irrigation water productivity requires a significant improvement in the knowledge of management of crop water needs. The present study aims to determine the water requirement and develop a planning schedule for rice irrigation during the off-season in a zone of the “Office du Perimètre Irrigué de Baguinéda (OPIB)”. The reference evapotranspiration by Penman-Monteith is used to determine the crop water requirement and irrigation calendar is analyzed for different planting dates (2nd and 3rd dekade of January, 1st and 2nd dekade of February). Results reveals that the amount of water used for irrigation is much higher than the water required by rice during the off-season cropping. A reduction in irrigation water needs of about 200 mm could be achieved by delaying the transplanting to the end of January or early February. The fraction of useable water is slightly higher for the planting dates of 3rd dekade of January, 1st decade of February. These two dates of planting are best compromised reducing the net irrigation water with increase water usability. Unfortunately, the existing irrigation practice at OPIB does not consider a such irrigation schedule and the fields are continuously flooded. Effort needs to be deployed to have adequate irrigation infrastructure. Irrigation control and scheduling tools must be provided to technicians in charge of irrigation.

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