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Promoting Drip Irrigation to enhance food security

  • By Tobias Meso
  • August 24, 2022
  • 0 Comment

Drip irrigation technology can help farms adapt to climate change by ensuring effective water use. By supplying the appropriate water resources directly to the plant as needed, drip irrigation lowers the demand for water during seasonal droughts and reduces water evaporation losses. Due to the rising population, unpredictable rainfall brought on by recurring droughts, and a lack of proper technologies to address the issue, Kenya’s land and water resources are becoming increasingly scarce, and the amount of arable land has drastically dropped.

Drip masters East Africa is an irrigation solution provider founded by Ibrahim Haji, that provides modern irrigation solutions to smallholder farmers. This includes custom-made drip irrigation kits, sprinkler irrigation kits called Mimea tech, and unbutton ripper systems. The company has existed since 2019 and has done several projects for small, medium and large-scale farmers in Kenya and Uganda.

Drip irrigation is a modern way of irrigating farms. Due to the impacts of climate change, the rain-fed irrigation system is becoming unsustainable, and farmers can longer rely on the rains for irrigation. Therefore, drip irrigation comes in handy as it is a micro irrigation system that drips water to the plants and uses minimum water and gravity, making it a clean technology that is very efficient in saving energy and water.

The company saw the need to venture into the business after seeing the impact of climate change on small-scale farmers, and the lack of information on how to counter the irrigation menace. “Today, the rain cycle has changed and so has the climate cycle. If we do not embrace irrigation, it will be almost impossible to do farming,” Said Haji during a candid interview. “Many farmers are already getting on board and accepting this technology. We also saw a huge opportunity because farmers are the majority, and we want to create more awareness.”

Drip masters is currently setting up a demo training center in Matuu where farmers can visit and learn more about the technology. “Ours is to solve the challenge to adapt to climate change. The rains have been failing and even this year, they have failed. It means we have to give farmers alternative solutions for irrigating their crops so that crop production can go on.” added Haji. Smallholder farmers have been struggling, and only those that have embraced the technology seem to be benefiting. So the company looks forward to having more farmers get on board. They are doing this by creating sensitization and training of the same.

In 2021 the company joined KCIC Greenbiz program, and it is evident that they have made tremendous progress in their journey. So far, the program has helped the company to do a business plan,  revamped its website, and now mentorship for bookkeeping and financials is ongoing. KCIC has also assisted the company in attending several exhibitions and events where they were able to get more clients.

The company is at the forefront of promoting climate change adaptation. Through the demo in Matuu, the company is training farmers on water harvesting and conservation technologies and eventually using drip irrigation to  make use the water efficiently.

By aligning farmers to focus more on climate change adaptation, the company is fostering climate change resilience in many regions in the country. This has in turn, reduced food scarcity and increased food security as the company is helping the counties achieve their food security targets.