To thrive in this competitive age, one should get knowledgeable about the major accomplishments taking place in the market. Micro irrigation is one of them, In the age of climate change and water scarcity, micro-irrigation can help increase crop yield and decrease water, fertiliser and labour requirements to small to medium scale farmers.
There is now need for a concerted effort to promote the adoption of micro-irrigation systems in the smallholder sub-sector to reduce dependence on rainfall for growing crops as well as to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) executive director, Mr Paul Zakariya, said this as he emphasised that micro-irrigation systems would enable smallholder farmers to produce all year around.
“The farmers will be able to utilise water bodies lying idle to produce high value horticultural commodities that may have an impact to boost local rural industries as well as enhance sustainable rural incomes,” he said.
Mr Zakariya said dependence on rain-fed agriculture was no longer an option going forward in light of the ravaging impacts of climate change. Micro-irrigation is a technology that keeps the water demand to a minimum.
It has been practised by commercial farmers in arid regions of the United States and Israel in farming areas where water is scarce. These commercial irrigation systems consist of a surface or buried pipe distribution network using emitters supplying water directly to the plants at regular intervals along the pipework.
Small-scale farmers in developing countries have been reluctant to take up micro-irrigation methods due to the initial investment required for the equipment. A number of organisations have looked at ways to simplify and reduce the cost of micro-irrigation resulting in the approaches of drip-irrigation and pipe irrigation.
– New Ziana.