Modified System of Irrigation Involving Sustainable Methods E10
Farzana, Panhwarl; Muhammad H., Panhwar2
1) Sindh Rural Women's Uplift Group, 157-C, Unit No.2, Latifabad, Hyderabad (Sindh), Pakistan, Research & Development Engineers, 54-D, Block-9, Clifton, Karachi-75600, Pakistan.
|Pakistan is an arid country and common method of
irrigation is by flooding. Due to low price of produce, farmers can not afford sprinkler
or trickle irrigation. A modified system of irrigation, in which fruit trees are grown on
ridges 2 meters wide and 25 cms high, has been evolved by the authors and water is applied
in furrows. The ridges get soaked with water quickly by horizontal permeability of soil.
Irrigation water brings weed seeds and annual weeds grow profusely in the furrows. These
weeds are mowed and dumped under the trees in a diameter of 2 meters and 25 cms thick
layer as mulch. When mulch is reduced to about 8 cms in 2-3 months, weeds are cut and
dumped again. Within 2 years tree canopy exceeds 2 meter diameter and waste weeds are
dumped further and further, until the whole ridge is under mulch.
It was observed that the weeds used as a mulch reduce summer temperatures increase winter temperatures, attract dry grass eating insects and predators living on insects, the eggs, dead bodies and excrete which become food for fungi and bacteria. Soil retains moisture, irrigation frequency is reduced and earth worms, which feed on fungus, bacteria and remains of insects, actively work it to a depth of 25 cms. The growth of trees is double that of controls and first crop comes early, usually in the third years as against 7 years for controls. The trees reach optimum production in 7-8 years. Net income is more than doubled.