Top irrigation systems in Kenya.

Irrigation in Kenya

Irrigation in Kenya is carried out using the follow methods; drip, furrow, sprinklers, center pivots, rain hose, and button drippers. Farmers can use these systems to water their crops.

Sources of water for irrigation include; local water services, dams, lakes, boreholes, ponds, wells, and canals.

Before choosing the best method to use, consider the type of crop and soil you have.

Irrigation equipment suppliers in Kenya

Greenscope is one of the leading irrigation equipment suppliers in Kenya. We have drip lines, fittings, pumps, polythene covers, seeds, seedlings and more.

Importance of irrigation in Kenya

  • Farmers can grow a variety of crops
  • Increase land productivity.
  • Grow during low rain seasons. Good for places that receive low rainfall.

Types of irrigation

1. Surface.

Water is distributed by means of gravity.

2. Sprinkler.

High-pressure sprinklers or rain guns are used to distribute water.

3. Drip.

The crops are watered near the roots by a dripline.

4. Central Pivot.

It uses a water sprinkler moving in circular pattern.

5. Furrow

Channels are used to carry water to the plants.

1. sprinkler irrigation system in Kenya

Water is distributed through pipes by a pumping mechanism which is sprayed into the air through sprinklers.

What crops are best suited for this method?

  • Row crops – potatoes, sunflower, cotton, maize, dry beans, soy beans, wheat, canola and flax.
  • Field crops – wheat, cotton, corn, rice, soy beans, beans, sugar beets and canola.
  • Tree crops – palm oil, rubber, cocoa, cashew, mango, oranges, plantain, banana, coconut, guava, pawpaw and coffee.

However, large sprinklers are not recommended for delicate crops such as lettuce. The large water droplets will damage their leaves.

Sprinkler Irrigation.

Sprinkler system layout.

  • Pumping unit
  • Mainline and sub-mainlines
  • Laterals
  • Sprinklers.

The mainline and sub-mainlines combine with the pumping unit carry water to the lateral. They can be laid on the land or buried underground. They can also be temporary and moved from field to field.

2. drip irrigation systems in Kenya

Dripline Irrigation In Kenya

It involves dropping water small diameter pipes. The pipes are fitted with emitters or drippers. Water is applied close to the plants near the roots.

What crops are best suited for this method?

  1. Row crops – Tomato, Chilly, Capsicum, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Onion, Okra, Cucumber, Peas, Spinach, Pumpkin.
  2. Tree crops – Grapes, Banana, Pomegranate, Orange, Citrus, Mango, Lemon, Custard Apple, Sapota, Guava, Pineapple, Coconut, Cashew,
    Papaya, Watermelon.
  3. Vine crops
  4. Flowers.
  5. Cash crops.
  6. Spices.

Drip system layout.

  • Pumping mechanism
  • Control head
  • Main and sub-main lines
  • Laterals
  • Emitters
  • drippers.

The pump delivers water into the piping system. The control head has valves that control discharge and pressure. It also has a filter to clean the water. A fertilizer tank may also be added to inject fertilizer during watering.

Mainlines, sub mains, and laterals supply water from the control head into the field. They should be buried below the ground because they degrade easily when exposed to solar radiation.

Emitters or drippers discharge water from the laterals to the plant. Usually, they are spaced 1meter apart. More than one emitter is used for tree plants. For row crops, closely spaced emitters are used to wet the soil.

Where is drip irrigation best suited?

  • Land is sloping
  • Water quality is marginal
  • When water and labor is expensive
  • Where high value crops require to be watered frequently.

Drip irrigation system cost per acre in Kenya

AcrePrice (Ksh)Components
1/1614,000Drip line (370m)
Hdpe mainline 20m.
Fittings
Take-off (20) and connectors (20).
1/820,000Drip line (750m)
Hdpe mainline 30m.
Fittings
Take-off (40) and connectors (40).
1/430,000Drip line (1500m)
Hdpe mainline 50m.
Fittings
Take-off (50) and connectors (50).
1/250,000Drip line (3 rolls)
Hdpe mainline 100m.
Fittings
Take-off (100) and connectors (100).
3/480,000Drip line (4 rolls)
Hdpe mainline 150m .
Fittings
Take-off (150) and connectors (150).
1120,000Drip line (6 rolls)
Hdpe mainline 200m.
Fittings
Take-off (200) and connectors (100).

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