Assessment of performance of irrigation systems: a case study of Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK)
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In Uganda, there has been increasing need for irrigation in agriculture due to the changing climatic conditions. Less than 0.5% of the irrigation potential in the country is being utilized at the moment, and in addition to this, information on the performance of the currently installed systems is scanty and not readily available. An example of these is at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo, where the performance of the drip irrigation system has not been assessed. This research project therefore encompasses the Assessment of Performance of Irrigation systems in Uganda and was carried out at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo. The main objective of this research was to assess the performance of irrigation systems at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK), in Uganda in order to provide more information on these technologies. The specific objectives were to establish the current performance of the irrigation system at MUARIK, to compare the actual performance of the system with the intended performance of the system, and to make recommendations on how the performance can be improved. In order to determine the current performance of the system, the performance parameters were divided into two main areas that is; the hydraulic performance as well as the pump performance. The methodology to achieve this mainly included literature review. Research for the project encompasses drip irrigation systems, as well as irrigation pump efficiency. An Emission Uniformity evaluation, as well as a Uniformity coefficient experiment were performed to understand evenly distributed the water is in the field. The results from the experiments conducted show that the hydraulic performance of the system was average while the pump performance was below average at best. After the assessment, recommendations were made that would aid in improving the system’s efficiency.