Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Irrigating in the Rain

Wind blows year round - why not use it?
Malawi has a rainy season and a dry season. Unfortunately, the rainy season can sometimes be rather dry. As we train farmers in irrigation, they are looking to capitalize on the dry season for food production and income generation. Perhaps the bigger impact comes during a dry rainy season, or drought as it is usually known.
AWP Demo Garden - teaching farmers about rainy season irrigation

The 2015/2016 rainy season has provided below average rainfall for most of the country. Farmers who have irrigation skills and equipment can save their crops by covering the water deficit through pumping ground water. Because the rain still supplies most of the water, the farmers are able to irrigate larger plots than they would be able to if they had to supply the full water requirement.

After a very bad harvest last year due to low rainfall, farmers cannot afford another drought. By irrigating during the rainy season, they will be able to keep food production up to prevent the devastation of hunger and malnutrition.
Maize suffers from water-stress - drought effects