Drip Irrigation in Nigeria
This website provides useful and reliable information about drip irrigation in Nigeria. Drip irrigation is the use of drip pipes or tapes with emitters to pass water to the roots of plants.
Drip irrigation is known to be the most efficient type of irrigation in the world as it only passes water to the roots of the plants. Plants make better use of water when they get it through their roots. Drip irrigation unlike other types of irrigation does not spray water to the leaves and stems of plants.
Drip irrigation in Nigeria is gradually being embraced by farmers because of its benefits and potentials of increasing farmers’ yield significantly.
A typical drip irrigation system consist of drip pipes or tubes or tapes, lay flat hoses, main pipes, emitters, punch tools and sometimes a fertigation equipment like venture injector or dosing pump. The network of pipes or tubes in the drip irrigation system enables the system to distribute water to every plant on a farmland.
A drip irrigation system can be installed on the surface of the soil or underneath the soil. The drip irrigation system buried under the soil is called a sub-surface drip irrigation system.
Buy Drip Irrigation in Nigeria (Drip Tapes)
One Acre Drip Irrigation Kit
One Acre Drip Irrigation System
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One Acre Drip Irrigation Kit
Drip Irrigation Dealers in Nigeria
There are few genuine drip irrigation suppliers in Nigeria, I strongly advise you buy your drip irrigation materials from vendors with competence and skills in irrigation, farming technology and farming. Never buy your drip irrigation kits from dealers that know nothing about farming and irrigation, they mostly sell sub-standard irrigation kits.
Below are some of the top drip irrigation dealers in Nigeria:
Veggie Grow: Veggie Grow is one of the largest irrigation dealers in Nigeria. The firm not only sells drip irrigation kits and other farm technologies, it also offers free soil analysis, free water analysis, plat tissue testing, farm profit optimisation and free agronomic plan to all its customers. It does this so that its customers will get a good Return on Investment (ROI) on their farming ventures.
Contact: +2348025141924, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dipp Limited: Dipp Limited is one of the credible drip irrigation suppliers in Nigeria. The firm markets Indian and Chinese made drip irrigation kits
Naan Dain Drip: This firm also markets good drip irrigation materials in Nigeria. It is a well trusted irrigation dealer in Nigeria.
Amira Drip Irrigation kit: Amira imports its irrigation kits from Kenya, it markets these imported drip irrigation kits to Nigerians.
Contact: 2, Iganmu road, Lagos, Nigeria.
Other drip irrigation dealers include Rivulis and Actar.
Cost of Drip Irrigation in Nigeria
The cost of drip irrigation system per acre in Nigeria varies from N250,000 – N500,000. Some dealers who sell poor quality drip irrigation kits deceive farmers with ridiculously low prices. Farmers who buy these cheap and poor quality drip irrigation systems use them for a few weeks before they get bad and unusable.
The price of drip irrigation kits can also vary according to the thickness of the drip tapes, the number of emitters, the length of drip tapes, the pressure compensating capabilities of the drip tapes, the type of filter in the drip irrigation system, the UV resistance capability of the drip irrigation tubings and the type of fertigating equipment in the system.
The planting population of a farmer can also dictate the cost of the drip irrigation system he will use on his farm. A farmer cultivating carrot for instance will need more drip tapes than a farmer cultivating okra.
Carrots are planted tightly, so a farmer that needs to drip irrigate a carrot farm will need to buy several rolls of drip irrigation tapes unlike a farmer that needs just few rolls for his okra or tomato farm.
I need to reiterate, never buy any drip irrigation system in Nigeria because it appears too cheap, you may blame yourself later.
Benefits and uses of drip irrigation
The use of drip irrigation (a type of micro-irrigation) by farmers in Nigeria and indeed other countries of the world has a lot of advantages. The doyen advantage of using the drip irrigation system is its efficiency. The drip irrigation system saves water, cost and energy.
Whilst other forms of irrigation uses a lot of water, the drip irrigation uses just a fraction of what other types if irrigation use. Below are some other benefits or advantages of using drip irrigation:
- Better crop yield: One of the main advantages of using drip irrigation is increase in yield by crop farmers. I have seen tomato farmers that recorded 98% increase in yield just because they converted their flood irrigation system to drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation encourages high density farming in vegetables and tree crops, this system can increase crop yield significantly. The opportunity to pass fertilisers to plants through drip irrigation tubes can also increase crop yield significantly.
- Provision of water all year round: With drip irrigation, farmers can irrigate their crops all year round. They do not need to wait for the rains before their plants can get water. Drip irrigation encourages brain fed farming in Nigeria instead of rain fed farming. Rain fed farmers are mostly poor because they cultivate their crops at the same time and sell their produce at the same time, this causes glut in the market and depressed prices while those who cultivate their crops with drip irrigation can sell their produce at the lean time of the year at high prices, thanks to the wonders of irrigation.
- Water efficiency: Drip irrigation systems typically use about 10-20% of the water used by sprinkler irrigation systems. Water is passed to the roots of plants in a trickle or droplet manner in drip irrigation systems; this saves a whole lot of water. Unlike sprinkler irrigation systems that wastes a lot of water through the indiscriminate sprinkling of water on the farmland.
- Labour efficiency: Have you ever seen how crops are irrigated through flood irrigation. A lot of labourers are needed to irrigate plants through flood irrigation and other types of irrigation. In the case of drip irrigation, a single labourer or personnel on the farm can irrigation 10,000 hectares of farmland. He can even irrigate the farmland on his bed by using internet enabled drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation can also reduce the cost of applying fertilisers by side dressing or top dressing through the use of fertigation equipment.
- Reduction in weed pressure: Sprinkler irrigation and flood irrigation systems encourage the growth of weeds on farms because they spray water indiscriminately. Drip irrigation systems only pass water to the roots of the plants – where the water is needed most. Weeds can reduce the yield of crops by as much as 98%. Weeds also encourage pest and disease infestation.
- Reduced disease pressure: Drip irrigation does not spray water on the leaves and stems on plants, so the incidences of fungal diseases is greatly reduced unlike other types of irrigation like rain guns which sprays water on the foliage of crops.
- Fertigation: Fertigation is the application of fertilisers or nutrients to plants through the drip irrigation system. Venturi injectors or dosing pumps are the main tools used in fertigation. I am sure you have seen farmers using their hand to side dress and top dress fertilisers on their farmlands, this is inefficient, time consuming and expensive. With fertigation, all a farmer needs is to mix his fertilisers in water and pass it to the crops through the drip irrigation system. Fertigation enables farmers to fertilise their plants every day or intermittently, this can increase yield significantly.
- Chemigation: Though a new concept in farming, chemigation is the application of chemicals or pesticides to plants through the drip irrigation system. Chemicals like nematicides, systemic insecticides, systemic fungicides and acaricides etc can be applied to plants through the drip irrigation tubings. For example, a soil that is infected with nematodes can be treated by the application of nematicides through the drip irrigation system. Plants that are infested with insects can also be cured by the application of systemic insecticides through the drip irrigation system. Systemic fungicides can also be applied through the drip irrigation system to address the issue of fungal diseases on crops.
Who needs drip irrigation in Nigeria?
Every farmer in Nigeria needs drip irrigation. As a matter of fact, if you have a small garden in your home, drip irrigation will also be beneficial to you.
Drip irrigation will be useful for farmers all over the country, be it in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Ogun, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Jos, Kaduna, Owerri, Akure, Epe, Ado Ekiti, Borno and Sokoto etc. If you are planting vegetables, cash crops and tree crops etc., drip irrigation will be beneficial to you.
For example, a cucumber farmer who has always used flood irrigation for his farm can increase the yield of his cucumber crop significantly if he uses drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is fantastic for vegetable farming.
Factors to consider when looking for the best drip irrigation system or kit in Nigeria
There are a lot of unscrupulous vendors in Nigeria selling crap and low quality drip irrigation kits. Only very few sell good drip irrigation kits. The trick the unscrupulous sellers use is to sell these low quality drip irrigation systems at ridiculously low prices, they know well that an average Nigerian is price sensitive and will prefer to buy cheap things only for him to regret later. To buy the best drip irrigation kit in Nigeria, the following factors has to be considered:
- Technical expertise of the drip irrigation dealer: Will you rather buy a medication from a pharmacist or from a road side seller that knows nothing about pharmacy? This also applies to drip irrigation systems. Most of the drip irrigation sellers in Nigeria know nothing about irrigation or farming, this makes them to sell poor quality drip irrigation systems to unsuspecting farmers. Some even sell the type of drip irrigation kits that are not suitable for the crops being cultivated by the farmer. Never buy drip irrigation kits from sellers who know nothing about farming and irrigation!
- The quality of the drip irrigation system: You should check the quality of the drip irrigation kit before buying. Ascertaining the quality of drip irrigation tubings can be a challenge for farmers as you cannot know the quality of most drip irrigation tapes by mere touching or looking at them. A good guide is for you to avoid ridiculously cheap drip irrigation systems.
- The price of the drip irrigation kit: Are you the type that loves buying very cheap things because you think you have seen a bargain? If yes, you may need to stop this habit if you want to buy quality drip irrigation systems. There are unscrupulous sellers in Nigeria that import poor quality drip irrigation kits from Asia and sell at ridiculous prices to farmers, only for the drip irrigation kits to get damaged or bad after few weeks on the farm.
- Is the drip irrigation tube UV resistant? You need to ask this question if you are buying drip irrigation systems in Nigeria. If the drip irrigation system is not UV resistant, it will get damaged within a very short time. Do not rely on what is printed on the package of the drip irrigation system. Some sellers will print UV resistant on the package of the system just to deceive people. This is one of the reasons you have to purchase your kits from reputable dealers in Nigeria.
- Thickness of the drip irrigation tape: This is another way some dealers deceive farmers. That a drip irrigation tape is thick does not mean that it is good or of a high quality. Some drip irrigation tapes are not thick but they can last far longer than the very thick type. Do not be deceived by the seemingly thick nature of a drip irrigation tape. I have seen a farmer who bought an 0.5mm thick drip tape in the past while another one bought an 0.20mm thick drip tape, the farmer that bought the 0.20mm thick drip tape is still using his drip irrigation tape till date while the 0.50mm thick drip tape is not usable again.
- Parameters of the drip irrigation system: You need to consider the parameters and attributes of the drip irrigation system before you buy. Do you want a drip irrigation tube that emits 3 litres of water per hour? What is the diameter of drip tubes that will be appropriate for your crops? Do you want a pressure compensating drip irrigation system?
Top 4 Drip Irrigation Systems in Nigeria
There are several types of drip irrigation kits in Nigeria, below are the top 5 drip irrigation systems in Nigeria:
- Veggie Grow Drip Irrigation Kit: This is arguably the best drip irrigation system in Nigeria. This drip irrigation kit is manufactured by some of the best irrigation producers in Europe and Asia under a white label agreement with Veggie Grow. Veggie Grow Drip Irrigation kit is affordable and it comes in different sizes. You can buy a garden size kit, a one acre kit and a one hectare kit. You can also buy the drip irrigation kit for 100 hectares or any size of farmland you have.
- Dipp Drip Irrigation Kit: Dipp drip irrigation kit is one of the most popular drip irrigation systems in Nigeria. It is marketed by Dipp Limited. This drip irrigation kit also comes in different sizes. Dipp drip irrigation kit is of a high quality.
- Naan Dain Drip Irrigation System: Naan Dain Drip Irrigation kit is marketed by a notable company in Nigeria. The drip irrigation kit is manufactured in India and shipped to Nigeria for sale to farmers who need irrigation.
- Amira Drip Irrigation kit: This drip irrigation kit is imported into Nigeria from Kenya. It is not commonly patronized by Nigerians because of its seemingly high cost, though the quality is good.
Components of a typical drip irrigation system
A typical drip irrigation system has components; the components are explained as follows:
Drip Tapes: Drip tapes are the light polythene hoses that are installed on the surface of the soil. The drip tapes are laid parallel to the rows of plants on a farmland. Most drip tapes come with pre-installed emitters, that s, a farmer does not need to perforate them or install separate emitters on the drip tapes.
The thickness of drip tapes vary from 0.10mm to 0.50mm. In Nigeria, the thicker the drip tape is does not mean that it will be durable to the ones that are not thick. Drip tapes that are thicker than 0.50mm are called drip tubes. Drip tapes can be unblocked if blocked with dirts.
Mainline: Most drip irrigation kits do not come with a mainline as the farmer is expected to have his source of water and mainline installed on his farm before he starts to install his drip irrigation system. The mainline is the pipe that comes from the source of water (borehole, well, river or dam etc.) to where the drip irrigation system will be connected.
The mainline can be a PVC pipe or a hose. It connects directly to the drip irrigation system. Without the mainline, the drip irrigation system cannot be fed with water to be used to irrigate the crops.
Other components of a typical drip irrigation system are:
Gravity Drip Irrigation System in Nigeria
Drip irrigation systems can be installed to work with gravitational force. In this case, an overhead tank or reservoir is connected to the drip irrigation system which makes the water flow with pressure from the overhead tank into the drip irrigation tubes or pipes.
To set up a gravity drip irrigation system in Nigeria, a source of water is needed, overhead reservoir or tank, drip irrigation tubes or tapes and the drip irrigation connectors.
Gravity fed drip irrigation is suitable for farmers with small farmland holdings. In the northern part of Nigeria, some NGOs are encouraging small holder farmers to use the gravity drip irrigation system.
With the gravity fed drip irrigation system, water can be harvested from rain or other sources into the overhead reservoir.
How to Set Up a Drip Irrigation System
Anyone can set up a simple drip irrigation system. If your farmland is less than 3 acres and you like doing things yourself, you can set up your drip irrigation system without needing any technician or plumber. All you need to do is to follow the guide given to you by your drip irrigation vendor.
To set up your drip irrigation system, you need to make sure that you have a good source of water, overhead tank if you are not using the pressurized system, drip tapes, lay flat hoses, emitters, source of power, connectors, stoppers, valves, air valve, punch tool and backflow valve etc.
Depending on the type of drip irrigation tapes you have, it is advisable for the length of the drip tape per row not to exceed 70 meters to 90 meters.
Greenhouse Farming and Drip Irrigation
Have you seen a greenhouse before? If yes, I am sure you saw the drip irrigation system in the greenhouse. Most if not all greenhouses have drip irrigation systems install in them, the drip irrigation system in greenhouse are used to irrigate the crops grown in the greenhouse.
Greenhouse farming can be very profitable, thanks to the use of farm technologies like drip irrigation, climate control and plastic mulch etc. A tomato greenhouse can be over 200% more productive than an open field tomato farm.
Rain Gun and Drip Irrigation
A rain gun is a type of irrigation sprinkler; it irrigates crops by spraying water to the leaves and stems of the crops. A rain gun can rotate 180 – 360 degrees.
Rain guns are effective for irrigating some types of crops. Rain guns can be connected to a drip irrigation system in some cases. This happens if the rain guns are meant to be used for the raising of seedlings or for the application of foliar fertilizers and pesticides.
Drip irrigation systems can also be connected to spray tube irrigation systems. Spray tubes work like rain guns.
The use of plastic mulch in drip irrigated farmland
Plastic mulch is a mulching film used in covering up the soil in order to prevent the growing of weeds. Plastic mulches are also very good in the conservation of water in soil and the prevention of the growth of some harmful pests.
Due to the fact that plastic mulches cover a large area of the surface of the soil, drip irrigation systems are often used in conjunction with plastic mulches in order for the farmer to get a good yield.
The drip tapes or tubes are often installed underneath the plastic mulch.
Drip irrigation in Nigeria can be used for tomato farming, cucumber farming, pepper farming, plantain farming, cocoa farming, maize farming and all other types of crop farming.
Crops Suitable for Drip Irrigation
Drip irrigation can be used for almost all types of crops.
Below are some of the crops suitable for drip irrigation:
- Vegetable crops - Tomato, pepper, cucumber, kale, watermelon, egg plants, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, leeks, spring onions and bell pepper etc
- Broad acre crops - Maize, soybeans, groundnut and millet etc
- Tree and fruit crops - Rubber, oil palm, cocoa and cashew etc
- Orchard crops - Mango, orange, pawpaw, guava, pineapple and banana etc.
Experts’ Opinions about Drip Irrigation
Mofoke, Adewumi, Babtunde, Mudiare and Ramalan (2006), all irrigation experts from Nigeria conducted a research on the effects of continuous flow drip irrigation on the yield of tomato grown in Bauchi State, Nigeria. The researchers also noted that drip irrigation can ensure that farmers cultivate their crops all year round.
Goldberg, Gornat and Rimon (1976) agreed in their research that drip irrigation can be useful for crops. They noted that drip irrigation can be used for crops like tomatoes, capsicums, eggplants, cucurbits, strawberries, sugar cane, deciduous fruit trees, grapevines, pawpaws, citrus, avocados, pecans, walnuts and other crops. The researchers further explained that drip irrigation can increase the yield of crops.
Shrivastava, Parikh, Sawani and Raman (1994) studied the impact of drip irrigation and mulch on tomato yield. They stated that drip irrigation and mulch can increase the yield of tomato plant by 53% whilst also saving water by 44%. They further explained that drip irrigation can be used to increase the yield of other crops and can also be used in every country of the world.
Hanson and May (2004) studied the effect of sub-surface drip irrigation on processing tomato yield, profitability and soil salinity. The researchers noted that drip irrigation can significantly increase the yield of processing tomatoes. They also explained that drip irrigation can increase profitability of processing tomato farmers by over 40%.
Drip irrigation can significantly increase the yield of cucumber plants, (Yuan, Sun, Kang and Nishiyama, 2006). The researchers explained that drip irrigation significantly increased the cucumber biomass, leaf weight and the overall yield of the plant.
Goldberg, D., Gornat, B. and Rimon, D. (1976). Drip irrigation: principles, design and agricultural practices. Drip Irrigation Scientific Publications.
Shrivastava P., Parikh M., Sawani N. and Raman S. (1994). Effect of drip irrigation and mulching on tomato yield. Agricultural Water Management, Volume 25, Issue 2.
Yuan B., Sun J., Kang Y. and Nishiyama S. (2006). Response of cucumber to drip irrigation water under a rainshelter, Agricultural Water Management, Volume 81, Issue 1-2.
Hanson B. and May D. (2004). Effect of subsurface drip irrigation on processing tomato yield, water table depth, soil salinity, and profitability. Agricultural Water Management, Volume 68, Issue 1.
Mofoke A., Adewumi J., Babtunde F., Mudiare O. and Ramalan A. (2006). Yield of tomato grown under continuous-flow drip irrigation in Bauchi state of Nigeria. Agricultural Water Management, Volume 84, Issue 1-2.