21 Jun, 2018

Share this Article

The participants installing drip irrigation system during the training
The Agricultural Engineering (AGE) Department has trained 28 participants from Phalombe in drip irrigation. The participants were members of Share Hope Foundation, an organisation under God’s Miracles Church in Phalombe district.

The training which spanned three days, starting from Monday, 18th June 2018 at Bunda campus, aimed at imparting knowledge and skills of drip irrigation to the farmers and took place at. During the three days, the participants were taught how to design, plan and implement drip irrigation on a field.

One of the facilitators, Dr. Lameck Fiwa who is also the Deputy Head of the Department, said they initiated the training after they had received a request from Share Hope Foundation.

“This training was demand driven by the participants themselves. They came to our department and asked for our help. As part of our job, we accepted to offer the training and that is why we interacted with them”, said Dr Fiwa.

Dr Fiwa said drip irrigation has more advantages over other types of irrigation such as surface irrigation in a sense that no water is wasted, and is also efficient.

“Drip irrigation is a water saving type of irrigation. It’s so special that it directs its water direct to the roots of the plant which we are targeting. No drop of water is wasted, that’s why the participants wanted to get a glimpse of this type. Currently they are practicing surface irrigation whereby too much water is wasted. Due to the increasing demand of water, they opted for drip irrigation and we have trained them bucket drip irrigation,” he said.

The training involved both theory and practical sessions. The first day was more of classroom work where the participants were taught the whole concept of drip irrigation, the advantages, disadvantages, the components, what should one do to install drip irrigation as well as implementing, monitoring and evaluation of the drip irrigation system.

The second day was dedicated to practical, whereby they went to the field, prepared the land, installed the system and saw that it was working. Finally the last day was evaluation. They went to check what they had installed and found that it was still working and were satisfied.

The Engineering Department’s Deputy Head said the department is open to everyone who would like to undergo such trainings, as it is LUANAR’s mandate to do research and outreach services.

Dr Fiwa said as a Department, they always have enough staff to handle such trainings so if anyone is interested, he can contact them. He said the department is open even during the semester.

In an interview after the training, one of the participants, Paul Tito, said the three days at Bunda have been fruitful for them as they have acquired skills that will make their farming better.

“I am very thankful to LUANAR. I have benefited a lot from this training as I will now be able to practice drip irrigation. I have seen that this method is effective since we are using less water on a bigger land than other types. The skills I have acquired here will help my family as well as my community as I will also share the knowledge with others.” He said.

The training was being facilitated by the Department’s head, Dr Grivin Chipula, Dr.Lameck Fiwa and other lecturers from the department. It is expected that the participants will be able to design and install drip irrigation systems when they go back to Phalombe.