Give them a hand not a handout was a lesson Bill Zingg from Kern Turf Supply taught me when I first started in the water management business. Since learning the message for the first time I have been both the giver and receiver. Both are very rewarding. Recently I became familiar with an organization, Chapin Living Waters, who for many years has been completing this message, working all over the globe to teach farmers how drip irrigation can improve their lives. They provide hands-on instruction in design, installation and maintenance of basic systems. In the video below you will see first hand how drip irrigation is helping to relieve poverty in Africa. They document the amazing difference in the growth of plants on drip compared to traditional irrigation (The results start at the 6:00 min mark). As a result of using drip irrigation these farmers are experiencing the following:
- 90% reduction in water use
- 30% increase in crop production
- 300% longer growing season
- Less weeds, less labor needed for the increase in production
What I find truly amazing is the soil conditions they have to manage. The results would be even more amazing given better soil conditions. Chapin Living Waters exists to help poor people in developing countries grow vegetables when there is insufficient rain. They offer simple, sustainable technologies for subsistence farming, bringing hope to the poorest people and the opportunity to solve their own problems. If you enjoyed this article please consider subscribing or follow me on twitter @H2oTrends.