Agriculture is a back-born of the country’s economy, contributing almost 60 % of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). News 9 Kenya sits down with Irrigation Hub Kenya to unravel their efforts in helping farmers in arid and semi-arid areas with drip irrigation.
Q. First tell us about Irri-hub?
A. Irri-Hub KE is an agricultural company that is helping small holder farmers with climate smart irrigation systems with the mission of achieving zero hunger which is the sustainable development goal number 2.
Q. What is drip irrigation and how does it work?
A. Drip irrigation is a technology where water delivery to plants is controlled in such a way that planting is done at the points where water is dripping. Once the system is installed the farmer controls the system for instance irrigation can be done twice in a day it is an easy system to use and saves on water as well.
Q. Which areas or counties have you covered across the country?
A. We can say we have travelled to most of the counties in the country from Kwale to Garissa
Q. Which types of crops do you support in the programme?
A. All horticultural crops i.e. onions, capsicum cabbages etc. We have systems for fruits and trees as well
Q. You recently connected drip irrigation to Banana farmers in Kavumbu, Machakos County; tell us more about this move?
A. The farmers’ source of water was a nearby river and watering his bananas manually was time wasting as well as the labor costs were high. So he decided to install drip buttons for his bananas and from the visit we must say the bananas are doing very well, the farmer has not regretted having the system and he has even expanded the system to plant tomatoes.
Q. What can a farmer do to get access to your services?
A. Check our website, we are on social media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Call us on 0732957984 or drop us an email via our website
Q. The world is facing Covid-19 pandemic, which has impacted heavily on agriculture. What are your efforts in averting this effects?
A. Despite the harsh effects of Covid-19, we still try to serve our farmers to where we can. Our installations are still ongoing same to our farm visits even outside Nairobi as we have the relevant passes.
Q. What can you tell a farmer who wants to venture into drip irrigation?
A. It is a simple and affordable technology and they should not be discouraged to get into it. It is one of the ways in which farmers can multiply their yields. The systems can be installed in the smallest kitchen garden and expand with time.
Q. There has been increasing cases of floods in the country, what are your efforts to averting this and make use of the water?
A. With the increasing floods in the country, our main role is to create awareness to the farmers to harvest this excess runoff using damliners that we install. The damliners are meant to conserve the waters and farmers can use the same for irrigation when the dryspell sets in.
Q. Tell us your parting short?
A. Our main aim is to transform the lives of small scale farmers by increasing their yields through drip irrigation. Food security is one of the major problems in our country and it’s about time that we move from rain fed agriculture and start exploring other agricultural methods which will enable our farmers to plant all year round. It is time that all farmers embrace this technology in Kenya so that we can curb food shortage in our country together because we have the potential as a country.