The main thrust for embarking on this study is on design and implementation of irrigation system. The system consists of a microcontroller, sensors, and water pump integration with a decision-making system. In carrying out the study, three specific objectives were adopted thus; To develop a system that will reduce human interference and ensure proper irrigation, to minimize water loss and to maximize the efficiency of water used, to prevent over labour of the pumping machine and prevent it from getting bad or burned. The system is made up of three key parts: a moisture detection section, a system control section, and an output portion. Detecting soil moisture with a YL-69 soil sensor (a resistance type sensor). The control unit was built with an Arduino-based ATMega328 microprocessor. The output was the device that controlled the irrigation system’s activation and deactivation according on the moisture content of the soil. Finally, an automated irrigation was successfully designed and assembled. It serves to reduce the consumption of water used, the human monitoring time and the labour associated with standard methods.
1.1 Background of the Study
Agricultural development is regarded to be the key to economic growth for most sub-Saharan nations, including Nigeria, (Oni, 2013). The peasant nature of agricultural activities, with its low productivity, bad reaction to technology adoption policies and poor returns on investment, are basic limitations to sustainable agricultural growth and development in Nigeria. Technology to promote rapid modernization is essential to sustainable growth and development of the agricultural sector (Oni, 2013).
One of the main limitations to sustainable agricultural growth in West Africa is the over-reliance of farming on rainfall, which improves the vulnerability of production systems to climate change and high variability (Burney et al., 2010), on account of socio-economic and physical characteristics (Baptista et al., 2013). Recurring droughts and rainfall unpredictability make farmers highly susceptible to climate-related risks (Boansi et al., 2018).
Increase in variability of climate change has made water resources for agriculture to become more unpredictable. Increased frequency of run-off water and soil erosion have also degraded many agricultural lands (Zougmore et al., 2014). This therefore, requires the adoption of agricultural innovation that can enhance the effective use of green water (rain water available in soil for plant use) and provide opportunities to enhance soil productivity and mitigate climatic hazards (Partey et al., 2018).
Irrigation may help fight droughts and make-up for unpredictable rainfall, but irrigation potential may be huge as the areas equipped with irrigation hardly exceed 5% of the total agricultural area (Burney et al., 2010). Knowledge of the precise quantity of water needed by various crops in a specified set of climatological condition of a region is of a great assistance in irrigation scheme planning, irrigation scheduling, efficient design and management of irrigation system (Roy and Ansari, 2014). The
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) ascertained that 70% of all water use is spent on agriculture, which calls for an urgent need to approach agriculture using water conversation methods (Ososanya et al., 2015).
Climate change is already compounding the socioeconomic and biophysical constraints to agricultural development in West Africa, but the adoption of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) is one mainstream opportunity to improving food and livelihood security in the region (Partey et al., 2018). FAO (2010) defined CSA to encompass agricultural innovations that achieve (1) increased productivity for improved food security, (2) improved adaptation and resilience to climate change and variability, and (3) reduced (mitigate) greenhouse gas emissions where possible.
Partey et. al. (2018) identified six prioritized areas in which the concepts of CSA is built. These are Conservation Agriculture, Climate Information Services (CIS), Agroforestry (farmer managed natural regeneration), Planting Pits (Zai and Half-moon), Drip Irrigation and Erosion Control techniques (tie/contour ridges and stone bunds). CSA is an appropriate strategy to address the difficulties of building synergies among climate change mitigation, adaptation and food security which are closely knitted in agriculture and minimizing their potential adverse trade-offs. CIS is highly valued promising alternatives for climate change adaptation, risk management and climate risk mitigation strategy in West Africa (Lodoun et al., 2014; Partey et al., 2018; Tarhule and Lamb, 2003).
The availability of CIS either from indigenous knowledge systems or meteorological data has made the farmers to be well-informed about the patterns of distribution of rainfall; intensity and frequency; wind storms and extreme occurrences such as droughts that allow them to plan their agricultural activities efficiently and effectively (Fitchett and Ebhouma, 2017; Wanders and Wood, 2018). Critical planning decision such as soil preparation, planting, selection of crop varieties, fertilizer application schedules are all linked to obtaining data on seasonal forecasts (Westermann et al., 2015; Zare et al., 2017).
There are limited studies on CIS adoption in West Africa. More than one million farmers in the arid and semi-arid regions of Senegal, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Ghana have been using CIS delivered via mobile phones and rural radios to manage their farm operations effectively (CCAFS, 2015; Etwire et al., 2017). While studies on the expenses and advantages of using CIS are limited, Ouédraogo et al. (2015) showed that farmers deploying CIS used fewer inputs (organic manure, fertilizers) in cowpea and sesame production systems compared to those that did not. This is expected to reduce cost of production and increased profit from high yield of crops and reduced risk of crop failure that would have caused climate-related damages.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Plant irrigation is generally a very time-consuming and labour-intensive activity. These days, most of the irrigation process that are being executed by human are being reduced in terms of human resources and timing due to technology use in irrigation purpose. Few of the existing technology enhanced irrigation systems incorporate climatic condition but none has used GPS to address the issue of scattered rainfall in specific location.
In the case of traditional irrigation system irrigation is done manually by farmers. Since, the water is irrigated directly in the land, plants under go high stress from variation in soil moisture, therefore plant appearance is reduced. The absence of automatic controlling of the system result in improper water control system. The major reason for these limitations is the growth of population which is increasing at a faster rate. At present there is emerging global water crisis where managing scarcity of water has become a serious job. This growth can be seen in countries which have shortage of water resources and are economically poor. So this is the serious problem in Traditional Irrigation System. Limitations of existing system are : Physical work of farmer to control drip irrigation, Wastage of water, Wastage of time. As water sits in irrigation channels malarial mosquitoes can breed.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of this project is to build and develop automated irrigation system
The following are objectives of the studies:
- To develop a system that will reduce human interference and ensure proper irrigation
- To minimize water loss and to maximize the efficiency of water used
- To prevent over labour of the pumping machine and prevent it from getting bad or burned
1.4 Justification of the Work
The increasing world population has lead to exponential increase in food demand. This event has necessitated the need for more land to be cultivated. Due to change of weather patterns brought about by global warming, irrigation remains as the only reliable method of crops production. With more and more land now being under irrigation there is a need for optimal use of water.
Over the last few years knowledge in electronics and computation has been used to solve present day challenges. In the forefront of the electronics revolution has been the microcontroller. The microcontroller has been used together with various sensors to measure and control physical quantities like temperature, humidity, heat and light. By controlling these physical quantities using the microcontroller; automatic systems have been achieved.
Irrigation systems in crop production can and has also been automated. This solves the challenge brought about by the unreliability of climate changes thus need for water optimization. Automation of the soil moisture sensor irrigation systems is one of the most convenient, efficient and effective method of water optimization. The systems helps in saving water and thus more land can be brought under irrigation. Crops grown under controlled conditions tend to be healthier and thus give more yields. Controlled watering system results in reduction of fertilizer use and thus fertilizer costs go down.
1.5 Scope of the Study
This project involves the evolution of watering manually to watering automatically. The controlling of the automatic watering system is use in a house, institution or any organization with flowers planted for decoration. Sensor used to control the watering system is soil moisture sensor. Other than that, this system should also monitor the water level.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The continuous increasing demand of food requires the rapid improvement in food production technology. In a country like Nigeria, where the economy is mainly based on agriculture and the climatic conditions are isotropic, still we are not able to make full use of agricultural resources. The main reason is the lack of rains & scarcity of land reservoir water. The continuous extraction of water from earth is reducing the water level due to which lot of land is coming slowly in the zones of un-irrigated land. Another very important reason of this is due to unplanned use of water due to which a significant amount of water goes to waste. This problem can be rectified if we use microcontroller based automated irrigation system in which the irrigation will take place only when there will be acute requirement of water.
1.8 Thesis Outline
This study comprises of five different chapters arranged sequentially. Chapter one gives a brief history of the various forms of locks and their technological advancements. Chapter two explains the operating principles of the various stages involved in the digital combination lock using microcontroller. In chapter three, the design and implementation of the whole project work is discussed fully. Chapter four presents the results and discussions drawn from tests performed on the system, while lastly; Chapter gives a conclusion and recommendation on the entire work.