Drip irrigation is a type of irrigation that passes trickles of water to the root zone of plants. Drip irrigation is known as the most effective and efficient type of irrigation for crops. Plantain is one of the crops that can do really well under drip irrigation.
Drip irrigation for plantain farming is the use of drip irrigation tubings for the growing of plantain. The yield of plantain can be increased by as high as 200% if drip irrigation is used for its cultivation and growing.
In Nigeria, farmers hardly use drip irrigation for plantain farming, the trend is now changing. Drip irrigation allows for Fertigation in plantain farming. Fertigation is the passing of soluble fertilizers to the roots of crops through the drip irrigation system.
Steps to take to use drip irrigation for plantain farming
The following steps need to be taken for you to use drip irrigation for plantain farming:
Prepare the farmland
Farmland preparation or land preparation is the process of making the farmland ready for planting of crops. This process involves ploughing, harrowing and ridging. Trees, stumps and weeds should be removed from the farmland.
Without land preparation, the drip irrigation system cannot be installed on the farmland. For subsurface drip irrigation system, there will be some diggings on the farmland.
Buy the drip irrigation system
The next step after land preparation is for you to buy the drip irrigation system. Drip tapes can be used for plantain farming. Also LDPE hoses or pipes can also serve as drip irrigation lines for plantain crop.
Check the components of the drip irrigation system to be sure that they are suitable for the growing of plantain.
Get a source of water
Water is needed for the drip irrigation system to work. Sources of water that can be used for the drip irrigation system are well, borehole, river, stream and dam etc. The water should be clean and free of particles that can damage the drip irrigation system.
Design the drip irrigation layout
The drip irrigation layout should be designed by someone who knows how to use CAD or IRRICAD. Most irrigation vendors in Nigeria like Veggie Concept can help you to design your irrigation layout.
Install the drip irrigation system
You should contact an expert to install the drip irrigation system for your plantain farm. However, for small plantain farms, DIY can be done. Gravity drip irrigation system can be easily set up by the farmer himself.
Test the drip irrigation system
Testing allows the farmer to know if the drip irrigation system is working properly. You should pressurize the drip irrigation tapes with water and check that the emitters drip water as expected.
If the drip irrigation system does not work as expected, you may need to check the water pressure and flow or better still, contact an irrigation expert.
Cost of drip irrigation for plantain farming
The cost of drip irrigation for plantain farming for an acre of farmland is ₦200,000 – ₦500,000 depending on the type of drip irrigation system.
The cost of drip irrigation for plantain farming for a hectare of farmland is ₦500,000 – ₦1,250,000 depending on the type of drip irrigation system.
The cost of drip irrigation for plantain farming for 5 acres of farmland is ₦1,000,000 – ₦2,500,000 depending on the type of drip irrigation system.
Do you use drip irrigation for plantain farming? If yes, why not share your experiences in the comments’ section.
Read our latest article on drip irrigation for pepper farming here.