Efficient use of irrigation can increase the income of smallholder farmers drastically. PRACTICA promotes the use of low-cost technologies that can be purchased and managed by individual farmers. This private ownership approach stimulates proper maintenance and avoids the management problems of communal systems.
Shallow wells are a low-cost option for private water access. A range of manual drilling techniques is available for its construction by local enterprises. Its design can be adapted to complicated settings, such as flooded areas or unfavourable soil conditions.
Low-cost pumps to lift and transport water exist in a wide array, depending on the water source and usage. PRACTICA has ample experience in selecting suitable pumps and improving its design for particular farming contexts. Common pumps for smallholder irrigation include human-powered rope pumps and treadle pumps, but also different engine pumps and low-cost micro pumpsets. An affordable solar-powered pump designed by PRACTICA is currently introduced in various countries as the Futurepump.
Efficient distribution systems can be a major improvement in water-scarce areas, since conventional furrow irrigation results in high water losses. Drip irrigation and Californian irrigation are two examples of alternatives that we work on.