Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation is a type of irrigation that delivers water slowly to the root zone of plants. Drip irrigation ensures that water is passed to the roots of plants in a trickle manner.

In drip irrigation systems, a network of pipes, tapes and tubings are used to deliver water to the roots of plants. Drip irrigation ensures that crops can be grown all year round.

The components of a drip irrigation system include drip tapes, connectors, submains, layflat hoses, couplings, joiners, end plugs, grommets, take-off valves, venturi injector for Fertigation and Chemigation, punch tool, straight connectors, source of water and water pump.

The benefits of drip irrigation include the following:

Drip irrigation can increase the yield of crops by 30 – 200% as compared to other types of irrigation.

With drip irrigation, crops can be grown all year round. Crops can be grown in the dry season when there is no rain. Crops can also be grown where the quantity or volume of water available is small.

Drip irrigation conserves water. It drops water to the roots of crops in trickle manner, unlike sprinklers and other types of irrigation that uses a lot of water. This makes drip irrigation environment friendly.

Drip irrigation reduces weeds’ pressure on farms as water is only delivered to the roots of the plants, not the entire farm like other types of irrigation.

Drip irrigation can also reduce the incidences of foliar fungal diseases as water is not sprayed on the foliage of plants like what the sprinkler irrigation system does.

Drip irrigation can be used to apply chemicals like pesticides to plants through their roots. This process is called Chemigation. For example, nematicides can be delivered directly to the roots of plants.

Drip irrigation also enables the direct delivery of soluble fertilizers to the roots of plants through a process called Fertigation. Fertigation reduces the volume of fertilizers to use for plants whilst enhancing the yield of the plants. Fertigation also enhances labour efficiency.

Questions and Answers about Drip Irrigation in Nigeria

1) Question: Can drip irrigation be used for all crops?

Answer: Yes, drip irrigation can be used for almost all crops.

2) Question: Are drip irrigation systems cheap?

Answer: Yes, drip irrigation systems are affordable. You should only buy high quality drip irrigation systems irrespective of the cost.

3) Question: Can drip irrigation increase crop yield?

Answer: Yes, drip irrigation can enhance crop yield.

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