A micro-irrigation system is a type of irrigation system that works based on low water pressure and flow. A micro-irrigation system is noted for working even if the flow rate of water is very low.
Micro-irrigation is popular among small holder farmers, gardeners and even farmers with large acreage because of its ability to conserve water. The low volume of water used by micro-irrigation systems is an advantage over other type of irrigation systems.
Micro-irrigation is usually used for vegetable farming like tomato farming, pepper farming, cucumber farming and watermelon farming etc.
Micro-irrigation can also be used for the cultivation of tree and fruit crops like cocoa, oil palm, cashew and rubber etc.
Drip irrigation is a popular type of micro-irrigation. Micro-irrigation is also called low flow irrigation, low volume irrigation and trickle irrigation.
Micro-irrigation can be used for drip irrigation, sub-surface irrigation and micro-spray irrigation.
What makes up a micro-irrigation system
The components or parts of a micro-irrigation system are explained as follows:
Drip Irrigation Tapes or Tubes
The drip irrigation tapes or tubes are polythene made hoses. These hoses have emitters placed on them. The emitters emit water to the root zone of plants.
Some emitters are pre-installed, especially, in the case of drip tapes. Some other emitters can be installed at distances chosen by the installer.
Drip irrigation tapes drip water to the root zones of plants in a trickle format. It is water and energy efficient.
With drip irrigation, the yield of crops can be significantly improved.
Micro-sprinklers work the same way as the traditional sprinklers work. The only difference between micro-sprinklers and the conventional sprinklers is that micro-sprinklers use low volume of water.
Micro-sprinklers are usually installed on tripods or riser pipes. They are connected to the tripods or riser pipes with hoses or pipes.
Micro-sprinklers can be used for almost all types of crops.
Hoses are usually made of polythene. They are used for main lines or sub-main lines in micro-irrigation systems.
The hoses are used to supply water in a typical micro-irrigation system.
A filter is used for the prevention and removal of impurities from the flowing water in an irrigation system.
A filter is usually installed on the main line of a micro-irrigation system. Screen filters, disc filters, sand separator and other types of filters are usually used in micro-irrigation systems.
The small devices installed on drip tapes and tubings that emit water to the root zone of plants are known as emitters.
The emitters installed on drip tapes are pre-installed by the manufacturer of the drip tape. These emitters are pre-installed at equal intervals often 20cm, 30cm, 50cm, 60cm or as preferred by the manufacturer.
The emitters emit water at a particular flow rate per hour. Some emitters emit water at 1 litre per hour, 2 litres per hour, 3 litres per hour or as wanted by the user.
Some emitters are removable. This type of emitters is usually used on HDPE and LDPE pipes or hoses. The removable emitters can also be adjustable or removable.
Adjustable and removable emitters do not usually get clogged.
A dripper is also a component of a typical micro-irrigation system. Drippers work like emitters. They drip water to the root zone of plants.
Drippers are commonly used in drip irrigation systems.
Other components of a micro-irrigation system include:
- Impact sprinklers
- Microtubings etc.
Advantages of using a micro-irrigation system
The following are the pros of using micro-irrigation systems:
There is water efficiency when you use micro-irrigation systems. The low volume of water used my micro-irrigation systems is beneficial to the environment.
There is the possibility of cultivating crops all year round if micro-irrigation system is used.
Erosion and nutrients leaching is significantly reduced if micro-irrigation system is used for the cultivation of crops.
With micro-irrigation, fertigation and Chemigation can be implemented. Fertigation is the passing of nutrients to the root zone of plants through micro-irrigation tubings. Chemigation is the application of chemicals to the root zone of plants through drip irrigation tubings.
Lesser requirements for labour, power and water are used for micro-irrigation systems. Micro-irrigation is far more efficient than other conventional types of irrigation.
Micro-irrigation systems can conserve fertilizers and yet increase the yield of crops.
Micro-sprays can disrupt the activities of insects on crops.
Disadvantages of using a micro-irrigation system
Micro-irrigation systems can be expensive for poor farmers.
What to look out for before buying a micro-irrigation system in Nigeria
The following factors should be considered before buying a micro-irrigation system in Nigeria:
- The quality of the micro-irrigation system
- The technical expertise of the dealer or vendor
- The price of the micro-irrigation system, you should be careful of very cheap irrigation systems, they may be sub-standard.
- The type of materials used for the production of the micro-irrigation system
- Country of manufacture
- Types of crops to grow
You can buy micro-irrigation systems from us by calling 08025141924.