A LOW COST DRIP IRRIGATION SYSTEM FOR SMALL FARMERS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES1

Authors

  • Paul Polak,

  • Bob Nanes,

  • Deepak Adhikari

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    • 2

      Respectively, President, International Development Enterprises, 10403 West Colfax Avenue, No. 500, Lakewood, Colorado 80215; Country Director/Nepal and Product Engineer/Nepal, International Development Enterprises, P.O. Box 2674, Kathmandu, Nepal.


  • 1

    Paper No. 96064 of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (formerly Water Resources Bulletin). Discussions are open until August 1, 1997.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: In areas where water is scarce, drip irrigation provides the most efficient way to conserve irrigation water, but its cost of £1000 an acre is prohibitive for most small farmers in developing countries. The cost was reduced by 90 percent by (1) making dripper lines moveable, so that each line reaches ten rows instead of one; (2) replacing 25-cent emitters with simple 0.70 mm holes punched by a heated needle; and (3) using £3.00 off-the-shelf 20 liter containers with cloth filters in place of expensive filter systems. This reduced the cost of a half-acre system to £50. The low cost system was field tested in the hill areas of Nepal, and in mulberry cultivation in Andhra Pradesh, India. Uniformity of flow from emitters was 73–84 percent. Small farmers reported that the low cost trickle irrigation system cut labor requirements in half, and doubled the area irrigated by the same amount of water. The low cost drip system is likely to be widely adopted by small farmers in semi-arid and hilly regions.

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