Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation is irrigation through small tubes targeted to the roots of the plant. It is the most common form of micro irrigation. Drip irrigation (together with the treadle pump is an extremely valuable tool for small shareholder farmers.

In large-scale farms, drip irrigation is typically high-pressure and uses a misting sprinkler head. However, this design has problems in small-scale situations:

  • High-pressure water lines or pumps are often not available to small shareholder farmers.
  • The misting sprinker head has a tendency to foul or break.

The Business Solution to Poverty has some useful case studies about developing an ultra-affordable drip irrigation system.

  • Use low-cost tubing that is locally available, like HDPE pipe
  • Use low-pressure irrigation holes that don't need to be replaced and can be manually un-fouled with a pin.
  • Irrigation holes can be created with a hot pin or similar device.
  • Build pressure by hanging a bucket or using a treadle pump.


Making it Smart

Could we make precision agriculture ultri-affordable?

  • Arduino microcontrollers cost $20. Someday they will cost $1.
  • Waterproof Arduino case

Related: fundamental needs.