Best Irrigation Equipment Suppliers in Kenya
How to Choose the Right Irrigation System
Water is vital when it comes to plants’ growth. However, it is hard to get constant water supply during such times when the weather patterns are so unpredictable in Kenya. The rains no longer come regularly like they used to, and drought has struck several regions in the country. This situation has led farmers to come up with artificial means of supplying water to plants. therefore you need a reliable irrigation equipment suppliers in Kenya.
There are various irrigation methods that help to fulfill the water requirements for plants so that food security in the country can be achieved. However, you should not settle with the first irrigation system that you come across on the market. You will find various products from irrigation equipment suppliers in Kenya, but you have to ensure that you put several factors into consideration to ensure that you settle for the right irrigation system for your farm.
Getting the right irrigation equipment ensures that your plants get adequate water to grow as they should. You don’t want to get an irrigation system that will not deliver the needed amount of water to every plant. Otherwise, you would have made a very unwise purchase decision. Let us have a look at some of the types of irrigation systems available.
Types of irrigation systems
There exist different types of irrigation methods, and different people choose different methods based on their farming needs. If you don’t know about the different systems, you’re in the right because we will cover the most popular irrigation systems, and also include their advantages and disadvantages. You could also do further consultation from your preferred irrigation equipment suppliers in Kenya to ensure that you get a product that will serve your needs well.
Here are some of the systems available
1. Drip irrigation systems
One of the most common types of irrigation systems among Kenyan farmers is drip irrigation systems. The system has gained popularity over the years because of its water efficiency and cost-effectiveness when it comes to water bills.
However, this system has high initial costs, but in the long run, it saves you a significant amount of money. A drip irrigation system involves laying lines in a row on your farm. The lines have emitters, which drip water to the root zone of the plants. The emitters release water at a slow rate, properly hydrating your plants without releasing too much water on the soil surface.
The system feeds the water directly to the roots, maximizing on the water usage. You could get this system from irrigation equipment suppliers in Kenya if you want to irrigate your farm and you reside in a region in Kenya where water is scarce. Overall, this is the irrigation system that is most efficient in water consumption.
Advantages of drip irrigation
A drip irrigation system has plenty of benefits, which makes it a preferable option among most. The main advantages include:
- Efficient water usage
- Reduces weed growth
- It helps save time
- Helps produce healthier plants
- Produces healthier plants
- Cannot get disrupted by wind
Disadvantages of drip irrigation
- A lot of precision is required during installation
- Initial installation costs are quite high
- The lines’ efficiency could get affected after being exposed to the sun for long
- Requires more maintenance than other systems
Sprinkler irrigation is yet another common irrigation system that you could install on your farm to compensate for the low rains that Kenya has been experiencing for quite some time. Actually, a sprinkler irrigation system can be termed to be the opposite of a drip irrigation system.
This type of irrigation system supplies water from an overhead position. The sprinklers rotate, distributing water to the plants on your farm from above. However, rest assured that you will find a variety of sprinkler irrigation systems from major irrigation equipment suppliers in Kenya. But they all serve the same purpose despite the variance in functionality.
Advantages of a sprinkler irrigation system
Some of the main advantages of a sprinkler irrigation system include:
- It can cover large areas – sprinklers work best for farmers who have acres of land, and they would like to water their lands in a cost-effective manner.
- You can use this system anywhere – a key advantage of this type of system is its versatility. You can use this system to water large open fields, you can use it to water your backyard, and you can also use it in your flower gardens.
Disadvantages of a sprinkler irrigation system
Here are some of the main cons of this system
- It has a high upfront cost – if you decide to go for a sprinkler irrigation system, then you should brace yourself for the high upfront costs that are involved in the installation of these items. However, these costs lower over time.
- Affected by the wind – unfortunately, sprinkler irrigation systems work by scattering water from an overhead position. Consequently, when the weather is draughty, your farm will have inconsistent watering. This is not irrigation equipment that could work well for individuals that reside in areas that are constantly windy.
3. Surface irrigation
Surface irrigation usually entails a simple concept. Its simplicity also makes it very affordable to carry out. This type of irrigation system is suitable for water that has sediment loads that cannot be handled by drip and sprinkler irrigation systems.
However, this method isn’t ideal for highly sandy soils that have high infiltration. This irrigation system distributes water uniformly, but it is uncontrolled. If you live in an area that has little wind and the water is unlimited, then this method might suit you best. This irrigation system doesn’t also require you to have a lot of know-how to operate it, but it is labor-intensive.
You might get impressed by this irrigation system because it ensures that the foliage remains dry, which makes your crops less susceptible to fungal diseases. You can also use any type of fertilizer as you carry out this type of irrigation.
Advantages of surface irrigation
Here are the main advantages of surface irrigation systems
- It’s the cheapest – surface irrigation is a traditional technique that does not require any technology to function. This is an option for Kenyan farmers who don’t want to spend a lot of money on irrigation systems.
- The easiest method – this irrigation system qualifies to be the easiest of all because it does not require any technical know-how.
- Utilizes rainwater effectively – once you shape your farmland, water can flow naturally along That means that when it rains, the rainwater will effectively water your farmland.
Disadvantages of surface irrigation
Here are some of the downsides to this type of irrigation
- It depends on your terrain – a major disadvantage about this irrigation system is that you have to work on your terrain to make sure that it accommodates this type of irrigation
- Leads to waterlogging – another notable disadvantage with this system is that it causes waterlogging. When your crops get overwhelmed by water, they may end up getting damaged. That means that you have a lot of responsibility to ensure that that doesn’t happen.
- The weeds receive as much water as your crops
There are also other types of irrigation systems that farmers utilize. They include:
4. Center pivot irrigation
You can also get a center pivot irrigation system, which is a self-propelled system that works by utilizing a center pipe that has outlets that rotate around a central pivot point. Its functionality compares to that of a sprinkler irrigation system. However, this system is much bigger and it obtains support from aluminum and steel towers. An impressive detail about this irrigation system is that it distributes water evenly.
5. Terraced irrigation
A terraced irrigation system is a type of irrigation system that is recommended for farmers whose farms or gardens are in sloped terrain. This system entails creating a series of steps on the sloped terrain. In order to irrigate, the water is delivered on the first step at the top, and then it irrigates the land by flowing down to the succeeding steps.
6. Furrow irrigation
Lastly, we have the furrow irrigation system. This system does not include complex processes like modern irrigation methods. It involves digging of small furrows or trenches between garden beds. Water then flows through these furrows, irrigating your garden or farm. Digging these furrows allows you to irrigate a large area on your farm from one point.
Factors to consider when choosing an irrigation system
When you go to irrigation equipment suppliers in Kenya to get yourself an irrigation system, you need to ensure that you consider some aspects to ensure that your watering endeavors are successful.
One of the things that you must keep in mind when going to get an irrigation system is the topography of your land. Overall, the topography is the slope on your farm. You need to know that some irrigation equipment cannot function well in an area that has a steep slope.
On the other hand, some irrigation system is ideal for flat surfaces, otherwise, your watering attempts would be futile. If you reside in an area that has steeper lands, it is advisable you get drip or sprinkler irrigation systems from irrigation equipment suppliers in Kenya.
II. Soil type
The soil type also determines the irrigation system that you should get. Sandy soils usually have a high infiltration rate and a low water storage capacity. As a result, such soils need regular but small irrigation applications such as drip or sprinkler systems. However, when it comes to loam and clay soils, you can rely on the three main irrigation systems. However, surface irrigation is ideal for clay soil because of its low infiltration rate.
The climate also plays a great role in the effectiveness of your irrigation system. If you live in an area that experiences strong winds often, then drip irrigation is the way to go. A sprinkler system may fail you terribly in such conditions. Overall, sprinkler and drip systems are preferred over other systems because they are adaptable to different irrigation requirements on your farm.
Furthermore, you need to consider water availability in your area. Some areas in Kenya have scarce water, and that means that you need to get a system that has good water efficiency such as a drip system. The surface irrigation system is ideal for areas that have plenty of water available.
You also need to consider the contents of the water. If the water contains dissolved salts, you may go for drip irrigation because relatively less water is applied to your farm’s soil as compared to other methods.
V. The type of technology
Furthermore, you need to check the type of technology on an irrigation system because it greatly affects how you will carry out the irrigation process. Some modern methods such as drip and sprinkler systems require some sophistication to operate. Such products require some level of know-how to operate and maintain.
On the other hand, surface systems do not require any level of skill, but they tend to be labor-intensive. The maintenance practices of such systems are much cheaper and easier compared to complex systems.
VI. Type of crops
Assuming that any type of irrigation system suits every type of crop is the worst mistake that you can do because you may end up damaging your crops. Sprinkler and drip irrigation is best for high-value crops because they are capital intensive. Furthermore, drip irrigation is suitable for watering crops that are planted in a row. Surface systems, however, can be used to water all types of crops.
As the Kenyan climatic conditions continue to change, so have farmers learned to be more innovative. Water is essential for healthy crop production, but with the low rains, farmers keep looking for reliable irrigation equipment suppliers in Kenya to purchase the right irrigation systems. The type of irrigation system you get for your farm or garden is dependent on factors such as topography, type of crops, and water availability among others.
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