One of the limiting factors of food production in Africa is the lack of using the required technology to enhance food production. Food production is Africa should not and never be seasonal. This is a reason why investors, organizations and governments need to inject more funds into Agribusiness Sector and invest in farming technologies such as Drip Irrigation installation in Nigeria/Africa.
A lot of African farmers lack good technology to provide water for their crops, vegetables, fruit farms and orchard farms. Many still rely on rainfall,provision of water through gallons and buckets which are not efficient and will never be efficient and effective. This is why a new technology that has been in existence for over 30 years and originated from Israel,had been considered to be adopted by farmers in Africa to increase food production. For many that have little or no knowledge about drip irrigation. I will explain all about this type of irrigation system in details.
What is Drip Irrigation ?
Drip irrigation system is a type of micro-irrigation system. It has the potential to save more water and nutrients than other types of irrigation system by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either from above the soil surface or buried below the surface at the right amount and at the right time. The goal of is to place water directly into the root zone and minimize evaporation. This means that it uses less water, easier to install and easy to design and can be very effective.
How does drip irrigation work ?
In contrast, this irrigation system is a much more controlled irrigation method. It works by exposing the roots to a direct supply of water. Drip emitters which are mostly flat emitters or round emitters are connected to a water source by a feeder hose called mainline and subline. Another version of drip irrigation uses a hose that has drip emitters built into it. In contrast, drip irrigation is a much more controlled irrigation method. It works by exposing the roots to a direct supply of water.
Which crops are suitable for drip irrigation
From tree crops, fruits to vegetables and orchard trees, it is more efficient in getting the desired result. The type is technology used to manufacture drip irrigation system installation has made it so easier to provide enough quantity of water for different crops and plants. It is more effective when installed for greenhouse farming.
Is drip irrigation better than sprinkler irrigation?
In many cases, this irrigation system is better than sprinkler irrigation. Here are some reasons:
- It uses less water per time to irrigate more crops compare to sprinkler irrigation system.
- It only allows the targeted crop root to receive water while sprinkler irrigation do not.
- It discourages weed growth while sprinkler irrigation encourages weed growth.
- It works easily with gravity while sprinkler irrigation work well with pressure pumps
- It is easier to remove from the field while sprinkler irrigation is harder to remove from the field due to underground laid pipes.
How often should I run drip irrigation ?
Drip irrigation can run at anytime preferred by the farm owner. For a better result, it is best to run it at late hours of the day till early hours of the second day as this is the best time to apply irrigation on the farm and further relieve the crops of stress.
However, it can run efficiently and effectively without the full handling by man. All it requires is to set the control valves at the required water flow rate and allow the system to complete the irrigation application.
One of the best ways to apply this type of irrigation is to make sure that that soil topography is flat to enable even flow of water. Drip irrigation kit is mostly supported with the application of gravity force and water may not travel far though the lines if the land topography is rough or not flat. Also, the soil must be harrowed and ploughed first so as to loose the soil before its installed.
How efficient is drip irrigation ?
This system of one of the most efective irrigation system ever used by farmers and crop agricultural companies. It provides water for targeted plant root and not for weeds, plant leafs and the soil. It enables the farmers save more water compared to other type of irrigation.
With this irrigation system, farmers can apply fertilizer to the plant root effectively without any stress and efficiently. This is done through fertigation process
In using other various farm technology such as adjustable manual maize seed/corn planter, seedlings transplanter and bigger farm machines such as ploughing machine, harrowing machine and many others, drip irrigation will definitely increase harvest on a farm compared to the results gotten when old farming methods are used.
How much does drip irrigation cost per acre ?
Drip cost installation cost per acre can’t be precisely but calculated. It is majorly based on different factors that ranges from water source, water storage capacity, land topography, crop water requirement amongst others. To better get a suitable cost of irrigation installation for your farm project, it is very important to speak to an irrigation consultant.
Therefore, the cost of irrigating an acre of land for a location is different from the cost to install the same in another location. For drip irrigation in Nigeria, kindly contact us at Farm LaVida Consults for further details on Irrigation projects.