Innovative techniques in dryland farming
Dry farming is an agricultural method that allowed crops to be cultivated on the prairie, which typically received limitedprecipitation and endured harsh winters. The water scarcity is major challenge to crop production in theses area. But farmers are applying resource conservation technologies to get higher crop productions even under limited supply of water. A lot of advancement in conservation technologies has been made during last decade but potential impacts of some newly developed technologies to date are still a question mark. Some of them are discussed here;
Subsistence farmers are a common system in most of dry region. A dry spell prevails from October to January and this is mostly known as “hunger period”. To get optimum plant population is the greatest challenge in dry farming system. A major cause of this dilemma is deterioration of quality of seeds. But during this period, Zero-Emission fridge can help as this fridge is a seed storage silo built with local materials and it does not require power. It seals seeds in a nearly hermetic chamber which also contains herbal insect repellants. Storage of seed in this fridge can help to maintain their vigor and viability; so farmer can get optimum plant population and consequently sustain their productions.
HESE affordable green house
Green houses are essential to productive farming in dry climates, and this one is created for low income farmers in developing countries. The green houses can be made available from locally available materials but this is a tough job; however they can expand these green houses with the need of farmers.HESEs research shows that the green houses cut water loss by up to 30% and water usage by 50%, if used in tandem with drip irrigation system.
Lotus solar pump
First time it was launched in October 2015.It is radically affordable as its retail price is $345 which makes it one of the low-cost solar pumps on the market. The lotus is a submersible pump that fit in to the 50 mm (2inch) tube wells in common rural areas. The pump can yield 15000 liters (4000 gallons) of water per day.
Moisture sensors tell a farmer when, where and how much to irrigate.Using these sensors, farmers can save a substantial amount of water and can ride of from water scarcity situation easily.
NBD nano technologies fog nets
Fog nets work where fog is abundant but they are not quite up to the task in drier climates. The main purpose of these nets is to capture water from the air for irrigation purpose. They can capture up to 19000 liters (5000 gallons) of water per dayin heavy fog.
SWAR root moisture control system:
The SWAR system allows orchards to flourish in the dry regions. The process begins with rain water catchment then using a treadle pump; farmer can push rain water up to a holding tank above theirfield. Gravity draws the water down through PVC piping to sealed plastic jugs placed inside of ceramic pots. The pots are buried near the trees. Water drips slowly out of the jugs in to pots where its seeps in to the soil. Results of most studies reveal that it can reduce water requirement by 80% compared to above ground drip system.
Scarcity makes water more expensive, so we see the rationale for investing in water conservation. This scarcity of water is major constraint of lower productivity of major filed crop in dry farming. But now most advance technologies are available which can help farmer to get higher production even under limited water availability conditions. Government should introduce these technologies by providing subsidies at small farmer level.
The authors are research scholar at Department of agronomy, University of agriculture Faisalabad.
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