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Friday, May 11, 2012

Ardent farmer putting drip irrigation knowledge to good use


Noah Ng'otiek at extreme left attending to this farm 
Drip Irrigation is a method of watering plants through plastic pipes called tapes. Single drops of water come out at a time to wet soil around the plants roots hence the name drip irrigation. This type of irrigation is common in this area because of its climatic conditions. The climatic conditions of Isinya and its environments are in arid and semi- arid regions thus making it more convenience to use it.
Mr. Noah Ng’otiek who is a farmer at Natala farm in Isinya, He explained that lately, there have been a lot of changes due to climate change; the rains have become erratic and the droughts more server. These changes have therefore drastically reducing pasture for his livestock, which for along time has provided a source of livelihood for him and his ancestors. It is for this reason that he decided to venture into farming something unique to the Maasais. He stated by harvesting water which he later on started using for drip irrigation as soon as he got information and training from Isinya Maarifa centre.
He cultivates onions, sukuma wiki (kales), cowpeas, capsicum (hoho) tomatoes, passion fruit and bananas, on large scale mostly for tender. Since water is applied straight to the root zone, there is a chance to apply nutrients along with the water.
Mr. Noah said that Isinya Maarifa center assists in provision of  knowledge for pastoralists to engage on other farming practices e.g. information on  agricultural farming through baobab and joto Africa publications ; through help of field exchange visits to other regions that practice latest systems in drip irrigation and dairy farming.
By Lydia Biri

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