Mobile Irrigation System
The “Mobile Irrigation System” is an overhead low Pressure Irrigation System, which water crops only at the “plant-root-zone” area. Areas far from the “plant-root-zone” area are not watered, saving enormous amounts of water that would otherwise go to waste.
Irrigating crops only at their “root-zone-areas” where water is required, the technology “Grows More Crops per Drop” similar to Drip Irrigation System. The technology’s advantage over other systems is, therefore, in Water Use Efficiency – WUE Management in crop production as no water is wasted during the crop production process. This is why the technology is a useful tool for conservation agriculture.
Mobile Irrigation System on display at the 2012 Nairobi International Trade Fair
DEVELOPMENT OF THE ORIGINAL CONCEPT
Shower Irrigation is a new “Water Use Efficient – WUE” food production technology under the irrigated agriculture sub-sector. It is to be applied in the water scarce arid and semi-arid lands – ASAL , where rain fed agriculture has failed due to drought.
The idea of developing a “Shower Irrigation Technology” originated from observations of the operations of the Bucket Irrigation System, which is a traditional “Water Use Efficient – WUE” crop watering method.
The “Bucket Irrigation System” requires the farmer to fetch water with a “bucket” far away in a river, transports the water on his/her back and empties the water at the “plant-root-zone” area manually, rationing it little by little to each plant, one at a time. This is a tedious, time wasting method of irrigation, producing very few crops per season.
Due to its high “Water Use Efficiency – WUE” ratio, it is this traditional Bucket Irrigation Method that has now been “mechanized” and developed to a modern Mobile Irrigation System”, for greater, faster, and less tedious method of crop production.
The technology was officially launched by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industrialization, Dr. Eng Karanja Kibicho as a tool for food production on 22nd December 2010, at KIRDI.
Now that the “manual” Mobile Irrigation System has been completed and working well, the next phase of technology development will be:-
- Conduct a feasibility on the market potential of the system in its current form
- Develop a mass production fabrication process for the system, taking into consideration transportation issues, packaging and production outsourcing
- Develop a motorized drive option for the system, so that it can be used by large scale farmers. This will also make the system operator friendly and cut on the labour requirement for large farms.