Charles Oloo, a vegetable farmer in Homa Bay County earns Sh7500 a week up from Sh3000 from harvesting five bags of cabbage, a factor he attributes to the double dug drip irrigation.
“Double dug drip irrigation involves digging trenches to conserve water, adding manure, maize straws, wheat straws, finger straws and banana leaves, as vegetables require a lot of manure for enhanced production. This method increases soil drainage and aeration and helps hold water more hence helping him harvest vegetables all year round,” said Charles.
“I abandoned normal vegetable growing on flat land when I realized incurred losses due to inadequate rains as my crops dried earning me zero shillings after heavy investment.”
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Charles embraced the double dug drip irrigation in 2016 for his quarter acre farm. Initially he used to harvest two bags per week but since he adopted the method he now harvests five bags per week.
In September the same year, he bought two sachets of seedlings from an agro vet in Homa Bay Town at a cost of Sh120 each. He first put the seeds on the nursery bed before transplanting them. On the farm, he dug trenches two feet deep and two feet wide then removed top soil one foot and put it aside, he then dug the remaining one feet subsoil and placed it aside.
He used maize stalks, wimbi straws, banana leaves and dry grass from his farm in the drench to one foot high. He then added tythonia plant leaves and compacted properly. He mixed the top soil mixed with 10 bags of well decomposed animal manure until it reached the brim. On the raised bed he made well calculated drills which he transplanted his spinach and kales.
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Charles was also fortunate to receive a 2000 litre water tanks in March this year from the World Vision. With the help of his children, he dug a dam liner with a capacity of 70,000 liters to harvest run off water from rains for use on the farm and storing on the tank for use during the dry season.
“The challenge I am facing at the moment is that I have not purchased a pump to propel water to the tank so I have to manually add water to the tank before I start irrigation,” said Thomas.
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The farmer sells his produce at Kadongo, Sondu market and Misambi secondary school. Each bag of vegetables earns him Sh1500 on a good season. The business has enabled Thomas educate his four children comfortably without no worries about their future.
He can be reached on +254 705 646 737