Your are here  » Home   » Smart Harvest

Farmer designs unique pump system to grow tomatoes and green maize

By Joseph Muchiri | Updated Sat, December 31st 2016 at 00:00 GMT +3
Dennis Munene shows the system he invented to pump water from a well in his farm in Riagicheru sub-location, Murinduko location, Mwea East. (Photo: Joseph Muchiri/Standard)

After persevering a lot of trouble, including insufficient water and pumps breaking down for years, Dennis Munene finally designed an ingenuous way that made his crops flourish and turned his farm green.

Munene has designed a unique water pumping system by reducing the depth between the water source and the pump. He says this now pumps twice the amount of water than from his 50-foot well than it was initially.

He is now able to adequately water his watermelon, tomato and maize crops in Murinduko location, Mwea East, and reap big from them.

For years, Munene, 41, had been among the hardworking farmers who struggled to irrigate their horticultural crops using the little water provided through community projects.

Little profit

The piped water was inadequate to sustain a thriving horticultural farming in the dry area and consequently they made only a little profit and sometimes incurred losses.

When he settled on his father’s 15-acre parcel in the 1990s, he found it so hard to water his crops that he had to sink a well after saving enough money from his horticultural farming.

“When I settled here, a thicket enveloped the entire land and I had to clear it first. The next challenge was water and I would bring water on a bicycle to irrigate a few crops,” he says.

But pulling water manually from a 50ft well using ropes was time-consuming, cumbersome and energy-sapping and this limited the acreage he could put under horticultural crops.

After more savings, Munene bought a 5.5 horsepower water pump and thought his problems were over. Unfortunately, a new challenge arose as the pump would wear its rings out every two weeks due to the effort required to pull water from such a depth.

He would spend Sh600 to repair the pump every time and the amount became even higher when he bought a second pump.

“By then I had expanded my farming and had horticultural crops in about half of the farm. I had to find a way of reducing the distance from the pump to the well,” he recalls.

Munene immediately embarked on digging a a hole adjacent to the well and placing the pump in it to reduce the gravitational distance. After digging a 15-foot hole, he dug a tunnel connecting it to the well at an inclination of 45 degrees and connected pipes from the well to the pumps through the tunnel.

Once the pipes were installed and the pumps set to work, Munene and his farmhands were pleasantly surprised when the machines pumped twice the amount of water they pumped before, and the rings only wear out after a year!

Today, he has five acres of maturing and healthy watermelons. He expects to attain a production of 25,000 to 30,000kg per acre and sell them at between Sh700,000 and Sh900,000 per acre.

A kilo of watermelon fetches betweenSh8 and Sh35, depending on the season.

“One should plan well such that the watermelons do not mature at the same time as mangoes. I plant my watermelons in February so that they are ready for harvest in May and again end of August so that I harvest by November,” he says. Munene explains that mangoes spoil the market for watermelons because consider them alternatives.

He also has three acres under tomatoes from which he expects to pocket a huge sum in two months.

Munene’s well has a lot of water that do not run out even if the two pumps operate continuously for 24 hours. He also allows his neighbours to pump the water to their farms.

He is now in the process of patenting his invention so that he can assist other farmers to replicate it.

Farmer designs unique pump system to grow tomatoes and green maize

After persevering a lot of trouble, including insufficient water and pumps breaking down for years, Dennis Munene finally designed an ingenuous way that made his crops flourish and turned his farm green.

Munene has designed a unique water pumping system by reducing the depth between the water source and the pump. He says this now pumps twice the amount of water than from his 50-foot well than it was initially.

He is now able to adequately water his watermelon, tomato and maize crops in Murinduko location, Mwea East, and reap big from them.

For years, Munene, 41, had been among the hardworking farmers who struggled to irrigate their horticultural crops using the little water provided through community projects.

Little profit

The piped water was inadequate to sustain a thriving horticultural farming in the dry area and consequently they made only a little profit and sometimes incurred losses.

When he settled on his father’s 15-acre parcel in the 1990s, he found it so hard to water his crops that he had to sink a well after saving enough money from his horticultural farming.

“When I settled here, a thicket enveloped the entire land and I had to clear it first. The next challenge was water and I would bring water on a bicycle to irrigate a few crops,” he says.

But pulling water manually from a 50ft well using ropes was time-consuming, cumbersome and energy-sapping and this limited the acreage he could put under horticultural crops.

After more savings, Munene bought a 5.5 horsepower water pump and thought his problems were over. Unfortunately, a new challenge arose as the pump would wear its rings out every two weeks due to the effort required to pull water from such a depth.

He would spend Sh600 to repair the pump every time and the amount became even higher when he bought a second pump.

“By then I had expanded my farming and had horticultural crops in about half of the farm. I had to find a way of reducing the distance from the pump to the well,” he recalls.

Munene immediately embarked on digging a a hole adjacent to the well and placing the pump in it to reduce the gravitational distance. After digging a 15-foot hole, he dug a tunnel connecting it to the well at an inclination of 45 degrees and connected pipes from the well to the pumps through the tunnel.

Once the pipes were installed and the pumps set to work, Munene and his farmhands were pleasantly surprised when the machines pumped twice the amount of water they pumped before, and the rings only wear out after a year!

Today, he has five acres of maturing and healthy watermelons. He expects to attain a production of 25,000 to 30,000kg per acre and sell them at between Sh700,000 and Sh900,000 per acre.

A kilo of watermelon fetches betweenSh8 and Sh35, depending on the season.

“One should plan well such that the watermelons do not mature at the same time as mangoes. I plant my watermelons in February so that they are ready for harvest in May and again end of August so that I harvest by November,” he says. Munene explains that mangoes spoil the market for watermelons because consider them alternatives.

He also has three acres under tomatoes from which he expects to pocket a huge sum in two months.

Munene’s well has a lot of water that do not run out even if the two pumps operate continuously for 24 hours. He also allows his neighbours to pump the water to their farms.

He is now in the process of patenting his invention so that he can assist other farmers to replicate it.


ADVERTISEMENT

latest News

VIEW ALL

Trending Now

ADVERTISEMENT

KTN News Live Stream