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Gravity fed small scale drip irrigation

A pilot drip irrigation project proposal has been prepared to revive drip kits in Matabeleland.

The kits were distributed with a great flurry of enthusiasm in 2003/4 but training and back-up by most distributors was often inadequate. We are convening a meeting at Hlekweni to see what lessons have been learned and to chart the way forward so that many more households can get the benefit of the simple technology with proper training and support.

(More than 20 organisations are expected to attend including ICRISAT which is undertaking a national research programme into the use of small scale drip irrigation. LEAD is assisting us and a small amount of funding is being provided by the German Development Service (DED)).

UPDATE - August 06

A survey on the use of drip kits was carried out in May in wards 13 and 14 of Gwanda (Matabeleland South). 150 respondents were selected at random.

It was disappointing to note that only 4 were using kits all year round, 74 were using them seasonally and 72 were not using them at all.

Five organisations had distributed kits. Those who were using the kits were all Hlekweni trained and supported.

Funds are now being sought to revive the programme and so that the benefits of this simply operated technology are fully appreciated by households and small-scale farmers.

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