Irrigation multiplies farm production since a farmer is able to grow crops all year round. As more farmers in Uganda embrace irrigation, the equipment that they can use is getting simpler. This equipment can readily be got from reliable dealers such as Davis & Shirtliff, who deal in a wide range of irrigation equipment/systems.
The first step in choosing irrigation systems is for engineers to access the area where the kit will be used and advise on the best equipment.
The type of pump is determined by the nature of the water. The micro irrigation system consists of drip pipes and button drippers (emitters).
Depending on the size of the farm or that of the solar pump, one may have the pump direct water to the overhead tank (for small farms less than one acre) or pump straight into the garden without erecting an overhead tank (for a garden bigger than an acre).
This method of irrigation is efficient in comparison to the sprinkler system. Micro irrigation can be fitted to other pumping equipment, including borehole/well AC pumps (that can be run on a generator), small surface pumps and low pressure engine pumps.
Micro irrigation systems are best for high-value crops such as coffee, passion fruits, bananas and vegetables.
Solar irrigation, as much as it is the most expensive in terms of initial cost, studies have shown that it is the cheapest over the lifespan of the equipment, because of zero running costs in comparison with using an engine pump or a generator, Ephraim Wainaina, the managing director of Davis & Shirtliff, says.
All these options can be explored to provide a farmer with equipment which is within the farmer’s price range.