Drip irrigation also called trickle irrigation is a type of irrigation that enables the passing of water to the root zones of plants in droplets manner or trickle form. Drip irrigation has proven to be the most efficient type of irrigation in the world, when it comes to the usage of water.
Drip irrigation has a lot of benefits to farmers in Nigeria; some of the benefits include water conservation, reduction in labour cost, increased yield and the ability to pass pesticides to plants through their roots.
In spite of the benefits of drip irrigation to farmers in Nigeria, there are still a lot of misconceptions about this unique type of irrigation. These misconceptions are discussed below.
Misconceptions about Drip Irrigation in Nigeria
Drip irrigation systems are too expensive: This is a wrong assumption. Looking the benefits you will derive from using drip irrigation, you will realize that this irrigation equipment is cheap. For example, a tomato farmer can increase its yield from 2 tonnes per acre to 20 tonnes per acre. This can add up to N1-2 million to his income depending on the season. The cost of drip irrigation per acre ranges from N250,000 – N400,000. The increase in yield will nullify the effect of the cost of the drip irrigation system.
Flood irrigation is better than drip irrigation: Common! I have met some farmers that still believe flood irrigation is better than drip irrigation. A lot of these uninformed farmers have not used drip irrigation systems, they just conclude based on hearsay and unfounded claims. Do you know that flood irrigation can be very costly when it comes to the use of water and manpower needed? Flood irrigation can also encourage root rot disease on your crops. Drip irrigation on the other hand is very efficient and its possible for you to fertilize your crops through drip irrigation lines. Drip irrigation is better than flood irrigation in all ramifications.
Drip irrigation systems are not available for sale in Nigeria: Though, there are few drip irrigation systems dealers in Nigeria but you can still get drip irrigation systems to buy in Nigeria. Most of the drip irrigation equipment dealers in Nigeria are based in Lagos. I strongly recommend that you patronize Veggie Grow. You can also patronize Veggie Concept; these are the two largest and most credible drip irrigation dealers I know in Nigeria.
The drip irrigation systems being sold in Nigeria are sub-standard: Yes, there are a lot of unscrupulous irrigation dealers in Nigeria who deceive unsuspecting buyers with low prices, only to sell them sub-standard drip irrigation systems. You can be sure that there are also companies selling high standard and quality drip irrigation systems. Never buy any drip irrigation kit because it appears very cheap, you may find yourself to blame later.
Drip irrigation systems are difficult to use: Anybody can learn how to operate or use a drip irrigation system within a few minutes or hours. Illiterates who cannot read and write can even learn how to use a drip irrigation system within a few minutes. Drip irrigation systems usage is not too technical, any farmer can use it.
Drip irrigation systems do not last long: This is also one of the misconceptions about drip irrigation I heard people say. If you buy the low price and sub-standard drip irrigation systems, they will not last long but if you buy the one with a high quality, they will surely last several years. I have personally used a drip irrigation system that lasted for over 6 years.
If you know more misconceptions about using drip irrigation in Nigeria, why not continue the discussions by sharing your thoughts in the comments section.