I have a two-acre banana shamba. What simple and easily applicable method of irrigation can I use, so that I do not get affected during the dry season? Agnes Nakintu
Answer: If the banana plants are already mature, you can dig pits within the rows of the banana plants with one pit catering for at least four banana clusters. If each cluster has three plants, then that is a total of 12 banana plants. Dig the pit in the centre of the four clusters. The pit can be at least two feet deep and three feet wide.
During the dry season, fill it with water at least twice a week. An acre can have as many as 100 such pits. In addition to using them as watering points, you can also cover them with compost, mainly rotting crop manure or animal waste.
Pour the water through this compost to create a nature fertigation system.
Fertigation is used mainly in green houses where fertilisers are mixed with irrigation water before they are channelled to the plants. Under your natural system, the fertility from the compost will be carried to the plant through the water. In terms of expenses, you will of course spend money on digging the pits. Depending on where you are, each pit can cost at least sh500.
For the farmers who are just planting bananas, oranges or mangoes where this system can be applied, it is better to dig the watering pits at the same time with the pits for the plants.