Drip Irrigation Technologies for Small Holders
About the Implementing organization
Name: Rural Infrastructure Services for Under-Served Population (RISEUP)
Year of establishment: 2012
Type of organization: Other
Over 95% of poor farmers depend on rainfall which at best is unpredictable, seasonal and very low in many regions.
New technological development and commercialization of irrigation has been directed toward large-scale and well-resourced farmers. However, the majority of the world’s farmers are resource poor smallholders who are not able to afford this high-end technology. Drip irrigation is affordable and has the potential to be the most efficient irrigation technology when evaluated in terms of crop production per unit of water consumed. Both at the demonstration farm and the participants farms drip irrigation was very cost-effective.
The project integrated drip irrigation technology as a part of a sustainable, economic, social, and environmentally certified vegetable value chain. The system has the proven potential to increase crop yield, increase soil and water conservation, improve crop quality, reduce environmental degradation and increase farmers’ income. It also gives farmers the opportunity to grow and sell crops out of season, bringing huge economic benefits to the farmers, their families and the wider community.
Farmers reported yield increases of roughly 50 to 90 % and decreases in water use of from 40 to 80 % compared to traditional surface irrigation systems. Farmers found the drip systems much easier and less time consuming to operate than traditional surface irrigation systems, particularly where water supplies were limited.
Type of Action
Sustainable use / Mainstreaming into sectors / Awareness and education
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Water security
Drip irrigation offers an energy efficient and affordable technology with additional crop and water management services. Low pressure drip irrigation holds tremendous potential to increase efficiency, reduce water and fertilizer use, extend growing seasons and improve productivity.
Sustainable Development Impacts
The project introduced different sizes of drip irrigation systems. The system comes in 1/4 acres units. Farmers can buy number of units adequate to cover part or whole of the farm and get more units at a later date.
Introduction of Drip irrigation can be expanded nation-wide. Farmers associated with this project have recorded increase in income and livelihood.
The attractive features that are important to smallholders include; low investment cost, suitability for various farm sizes at about the same cost per unit of area served, rapid return on investment and simple inexpensive maintenance.
The success of the project has awakened the interests of other farmers who did not participated in the project. The project has helped a number of farmers install drip systems on their farms.
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