Thirty five Nyamira farmers are set to pump water to their farms without incurring any cost after receiving donation of 35 moneymaker pumps from World Vision in collaboration with the ministry of agriculture.
The pumps worth Sh525, 000 will enable farmers to irrigate their crops all year round without worries as they do not use fuel or electricity.
The kickstart money maker pump can draw water up from 23 feet (seven meters) and has a total pumping head of 46 feet (14 meters). It can push at least 5,000 liters in a day and can be used to irrigate up to two acres of land making it suitable for smallholder farmers with small pieces of land under cultivation.
As rainfall becomes unreliable and unpredictable due to climate change, farmers will take advantage of the pumps to produce food for subsistence and sale season in season out.
According to 2015 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, modern irrigation systems play a very limited role in Sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural sector. Food production in the region remains almost entirely rain-fed and only two percent of the total cultivated area is irrigated. Adoption of modern irrigation systems by farmers will therefore substantially increase crop yields resulting in improved incomes, reduced risk associated with drought, efficient use of limited water resources, and greater food production.
“Farmers in Magwagwa, Bomwagamo, Bokeira and other wards in the County have been drawing water manually from water sources but with these pumps our work will be made easier as we will be able to irrigate our crops comfortably,” said Milton Ongeri, the coordinator of farmers in the area.
“Majority of farmers have been relying on water harvesting through construction of dam liners which is an expensive venture”
A farmer in Nyamusi location, Nyamira County demonstrates how to use the kickstart moneymaker pump. PHOTO/MILTON ONGERI
The farmers are currently being trained on how to effectively utilize the moneymaker pump at select farms within the county. In this, farmers are equipped with knowledge on operations of the pump, skills and ways to realize their full potential for wealth creation and sustainability especially in this tough dry season between January and April.
Nyamira farmers mainly depend on bananas and vegetables such kales, manage (black night shade) to sustain their livelihoods.
“With the pumps we will not be importing vegetables from Rift Valley any more, we will produce more vegetables for our own consumption and export” said Ongeri.
In Africa, 310,000 money maker pumps at a cost of Sh15000 each have been sold to farmers creating 240,000 businesses resulting in Sh20b annual new farm profits and wages.