Irrigation is underway at Katsumwa Village, Lilongwe. There are five irrigation farmers using this system and 15 additional farmers participating in the training course, to eventually start their own irrigated gardens. Up to three acres of irrigable land sits within range of the water tank. For a start the farmers have cultivated about half and acre.
Due to the sandy soil the farmers had to dig a well farther from the water tank. In order to fill the tank over that distance we installed a 200 liter drum near the pump which is connected by ground pipes to the 13,000 liter tank. As the drum fills, the pressure in the drum exceed the pressure in the tank, and water begins to flow into the tank.
The water pump can usually pump faster than the water transfers from the drum to the tank, which could lead to an overflowing tank. However, this does not present a problem under normal conditions because the farmers take short breaks while pumping, allowing the drum and tank to equalize.
Flow under minimum pressure:
Farmers learn pump maintenance:
Demonstrating how to direct water into the basins:
Demonstrating how to mulch the basins:
The Mziza Farming Club is getting into irrigation as early as possible this season. On Monday this week, we delivered farm inputs which the farmers accessed through a revolving fund for input loans.