Fertigation:Boosting food production

Fertigation means fertilizer application through irrigation by the drip system, this method permits even distribution of fertilizer solution to the crops. This improves the growth and the yield of the crops because nutrients is always available through liquid fertilizers to individual plants.

Importance of Fertigation

    – Fertigation reduces soil erosion problems by supplying nutrients through the water drip system;
    – It reduces the plant’s water consumption rate by improving water retention capacity of the root;
    – It is cost efficient because it reduces fertilizer, water and chemicals needed;
    – Nutrients supplied to the plants can controlled to the required dosage at any given time;
    – It reduces the risk of the roots contracting soil borne diseases.
    – It saves time, labour, fertilizer and energy use is also reduced.
    Fertigation is necessary in boosting food  production as it will help farmers plant varieties of crops all year round, water and fertilizer are supplied evenly to all the crops through fertigation thereby increasing yield for 20-50% and improves efficiency in crop production.

Fertilizer used in fertigation are urea, potash, mono ammonium phosphate (Nitrogen and Phosphorus), poly feed (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium), Multi K (Nitrogen and Potassium), Potassium sulphate (Potassium and Sulphur) and highly water soluble fertilizers are available for applying through fertigation.

Equipments used in fertigation are:

– Fertilizer pump: is a special pump that gives pressure to the fertilizer solution that has been prepared in the tank.

-Fertilizer tank: the container where chemicals are diluted, connected to the pump which pressurize the solution in the tank, supplied to the irrigation pipes and delivered to individual plant through the drip systems.

-Ventury: is a vaccumwhich is required to suck fertilizer solution from an open container into the water flow.

Rain fed crops cannot produce food sustainably, water shortage worldwide and urbanization has necessitated the need for improving farming methods like fertigation which is suitable for annual crops, horticultural crops, and tree plantations.

Fertigation, irrigation and chemigation has been efficiently used in food production on small and large scale farming all over the world.

 

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