More than one billion people live in areas where water is scarce. But drip irrigation is a way to stretch those water resources. Using a system of small plastic pipes, water is slowly dripped only on the soil nearest the plant’s roots.
So why haven’t more small farms embraced this technology? Because it’s not just a matter of handing out plastic pipes. Pipes get clogged. Systems don’t get installed properly. And it’s not easy to break with traditions that go back farther than anyone can remember.
It’s a multi-faceted problem that deserves a comprehensive set of tools.
A Right-Sized Water Access Solution
Affordable water lifting technologies, including low-cost renewables, are essential if farmers are to harness their water resources effectively.
Adapted Drip Systems
Small-scale farmers can’t afford commercial-sized systems. They need products that are stripped to their essentials, low-cost, low-pressure, functional in poor water quality conditions, and adapted to a range of crops.
In order to achieve optimal results and maximize water-efficiency, farmers need access to quality seed, soil nutrients, and pest/disease control.
Drip irrigation requires a major shift in crop management and mindset, as well as the ability to operate and maintain the technology. Farmers need effective extension support and peer-to-peer connections, as well as reference materials in their own language and adapted for those who cannot read.
With higher yields, Drip+ systems often pay for themselves in less than a year. But even still, many farmers lack the money to make the initial investment. Creative financing solutions are essential.
When small farmers can see a strategy to use local market channels to sell their harvest, they will invest their own scarce resources into increasing production to meet demand.
We are not satisfied with a few pockets of impact. The Drip+ Alliance aims to bring drip+ to over one million smallholder farms
Contact us to learn how you can get involved. firstname.lastname@example.org