The construction of a mini dam to collect water is saving a Nyeri County farmer more than Sh6,000 in monthly bills besides supporting a constant flow of onions despite the weather.
Jonathan Jomo constructed a 70,000 litre mini dam at his farm in Kieni, in 2015. Before then, he used to pay a water bill of between Sh6,000 and Sh8,000 to meet irrigation needs. The dam is covered on top for safety and reducing water loss by evaporation.
The water bill was scuttling Jomo’s profits by increasing the production costs.
Being an all-year-round farmer, Jomo is saving more than Sh80,000 per annum spent on irrigation.
“I spent about Sh120,000. Kieni does not have constant rainfall. The water I collect in the dam is sufficient to run my drip irrigation for more than two months after the rains. Although I have the piped water system as my back-up, I have rarely used it,” he said.
Drip irrigation is one of the most economical methods of supplying water to crops because only a few drops are released to the stem region of the crop.
“I use grass mulching to cut down the cost of weeding in addition to improving the organic composition in the soil as the matter rots. The mulch also helps in preserving water by preventing direct sunlight to ground,” Jomo said.
Besides the organic onions, the farmer is expanding into garlic, tomatoes, capsicum, among other crops to cover at least