The objective of this study was to determine the effect of paddy rice ploughing techniques
on water use and the yield of rice crop, as well as water use efficiency for rice growing in small-holder
irrigation schemes. The study was conducted at a farmer’s field in Powo B sub-block of Maugo
Irrigation Scheme. The period of study was from July 2019 to January 2020, which is the rice season.
The experimental site was located in the vicinity of Olare Shopping Centre, Kamenya Sub-location,
Kochia East Location, Kochia Ward, Rangwe Sub-County, Homa Bay County, Nyanza Region, Kenya
in Maugo rice scheme in Kenya. In the study, four irrigation tillage practices were applied: ox-plough,
conventional ox-plough, hand hoe and tractor ploughing. The results showed that conventional
ox-ploughing consumed the highest amount of water at 1240 mm. The highest water use efficiency
of 0.49 kg/m3 and highest yield of 5.7 tons/ha were observed for hand hoe ploughing. Use of the
hand hoe ploughing technique increased yields by 20 percent, as compared to the conventional
ox-ploughing. Therefore, the use of water for ploughing is not necessary in the study area. Future
research will be needed to see how farmers are adopting the technology before scaling up to full
mechanization, as partial mechanization was not profitable.
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