Irrigating your crops is an essential part of making sure your farm succeeds, but it can be tricky to get right.
It can take up a lot of your time and energy, from the physical effort of lifting water from your water source, getting the water to your crops and making sure that everything gets the regular water it needs.
We hear from a lot of smallholder farmers that the labour required for irrigation is a big reason why they have not yet expanded their farm or have not been getting the most from their crops.
So, if you’ve found this has been holding you back, then you are not alone!
Many of the farmers struggling with this have been relying on manual irrigation, which can be time-intensive and simply do not provide enough water for an expanding farm. Or perhaps they have a petrol pump and are dealing with frequent maintenance and trips to get fuel.
If you are experiencing this, we know it must be frustrating. But there are so many ways you can start to improve the irrigation on your farm and get back those precious hours of your day. You’ll be able to achieve more, grow more and perhaps find time for a well-deserved break!
Sound good? Keep reading…
One farmer’s journey to easier irrigation
Japheth went through a journey much like the one we described above. He was trying to find the right irrigation solution for his farm so he could expand his cropped area and keep growing through the dry seasons.
“I used to irrigate with buckets but I could not do much because the bucket capacity is very small. I tried a manual pump but it was so labour intensive that I ended up spending much money hiring people just to help me pump the water.
I also tried petrol, but I would use 1000 shillings [$10] a day – this cost is too high.” – Japheth
Then Japheth heard about solar water pumps. He saw their benefits that addressed the issues he was struggling with: capacity, labour and cost.
One of Japheth’s big problems was the ongoing fuel and maintenance costs of using a petrol pump. In contrast, a solar pump uses free sunshine as power and surface pumps, such as Futurepump, require a lot less maintenance too.
Labour time and costs were also holding Japheth back with the manual irrigation methods he tried. He was pleased to see that with solar powered irrigation, at the flick of a switch a solar pump can do all the irrigation work for you. Also, solar pumps don’t get tired! They will keep pumping water for as long as the sun shines, delivering plenty of water for your crops.
For Japheth, the worries about irrigation are in the past, since purchasing a Futurepump solar pump, for him, there is no looking back:
Japheth uses his Futurepump SF2 solar pump with a set of sprinklers and is now able to keep his crops growing all year round.
“So, if I didn’t have the Futurepump, I think I wouldn’t be here now in the dry season because it is already too hot. But with the Futurepump now I know I will harvest something good.” – Japheth
At Futurepump we are experts in the manufacture of solar irrigation pumps. We want to help smallholder farmers across the world grow crops sustainably all year round. You can find out more about our work and bigger mission across futurepump.com
We are of course not agronomists, we just want to help you get the most out of your farm sustainably – so for more help on looking after your soils and crops it is a good idea to speak to an agronomist in your local area who can provide you tailored advice for your farm.