Three lecturers from Meru University of Science and Technology have innovated an automatic irrigation system that will be suitable for use when rains fail.
According to them, the project will not only keep the farmers busy in their farms but also keep the country’s food security in check.
Daniel Mateithia, Joshua Thambura and Francis Kigira are the scholars who have come up with this innovation dubbed ‘E-Valve’.
“This automatic irrigation system uses soil moisture sensors to detect when the soil is dry so that the system can channel water to crops and when enough water has been delivered the system can shut down the water supply,” Mateithia said.
This system prefers drip lines and the farmer can operate the system at the comfort of his home to reach the desired responses.
“Desired responses include turning on the water pump and opening a specified water valve so that water can be channelled to a specified portion of the land or closing a previously opened valve as well as open a different one so that water can be channelled to another portion of the land,” Thambura said.
The system not only reduces labour costs but also informs the farmer when something is wrong on the farm.
“The system, besides reducing water wastage can also save on labour costs as there would be no need to engage a farm attendant in manning the irrigation process,” Kigira says. He adds: “In case something is wrong, for example, water cannot be delivered to the crops yet the soil is dry, the farmer receives an alert SMS from the system notifying him of the problem so that he can come to attend to it.”