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Bamboo Drip Irrigation

Since olden times, traditional farmers of Meghalaya have been utilizing an indigenous method of bamboo drip irrigation system to water their plantation crops. It is an innovative irrigation system that taps streams and spring water sources using bamboo channels. This intricate design for irrigation has been perfected over 200 years of practice. It is so perfected that about 18-20 litres of water entering the bamboo pipe system per minute gets transported over several hundred metres and finally gets reduced to 20-80 drops per minute at the site of the plant.

Copyright source: https://www.zizira.com/blogs/people-and-process/bamboo-drip-irrigation-meghalayas-native-farmers

As you may already know, the topography in Meghalaya is hilly, with steep slopes and rough landscapes. Hence, using ground channels in this area is unfavorable. So, bamboo drip irrigation is widely preferred.

Usually, water sources are distant from plantation sites and so the main bamboo channel runs several meters, sometimes even a couple of kilometres. Water is thus obtained and managed through a brilliant bamboo system of secondary and tertiary channels to reach each part and corners of the plantation.

Bamboo channels are utilized to tap perennial water from up-slopes, which is cleverly diverted to the lower parts using gravity. An ingenious system that wastes very little water and works to this day.

Channel sections are made of bamboos of different diameters, to control the water flow in such a way that the water reaches the site in the lower reaches, where it is circulated without spillage. The channels are supported by forked branches. 

It is so perfected that about 18-20 litres of water entering the bamboo pipe system per minute gets transported over several hundred metres and finally gets reduced to 20-80 drops per minute at the site of the plant.

One must see it to appreciate the intricacy and the smartness of the system. It is estimated that even up to 20 liters of water flows into the channel every minute. Have you ever heard of this type of irrigation before?  Read the story at Zizira website: https://www.zizira.com/blogs/people-and-process/bamboo-drip-irrigation-meghalayas-native-farmers

About Zizira: https://www.zizira.com/pages/our-story

Additional Reading:

http://www.cpreecenvis.nic.in/Database/BamboodripIrrigation_3767.aspx

https://www.cseindia.org/bamboo-drip-irrigation-2839

http://www.rainwaterharvesting.org/methods/traditional/bamboo.htm

One can buy online best quality herbs and spices that are grown in traditional ways by Meghalaya’s farmers (without pesticide and chemicals fertilizer) and are unadulterated and guaranteed by Zizira from their website https://www.zizira.com/ .

A Report on The Agricultural Potential of Meghalaya https://explorers.zizira.com/meghalaya-potential-of-the-land-ebook/

Traditional Farming Methods practiced by Meghalaya https://www.zizira.com/blogs/people-and-process/bamboo-drip-irrigation-meghalayas-native-farmers

Most Farmers Traditional Farming Methods

Over 80% of the population of Meghalaya depend on agriculture and most of them own small family farms and follow traditional farming methods. A good irrigation system is an imperative for successful farming.

Read on to see how these farmers who follow traditional farming methods have a traditional irrigation system designed by themselves.

A 200 years old Traditional Irrigation System

The topography in Meghalaya is hilly, with steep slopes due to which there are two challenges the farmers of Meghalaya face.

First, the water-retention capacity of the terrain is poor.

Second, bringing water from distant water sources to the fields is a big challenge for the farmers in the rural areas.

Ground channeling is also impractical due to the harsh landscape. Confronted with such adverse conditions for irrigation, the traditional farmers of Meghalaya have come up with an innovative way that works. Since olden times, farmers of Meghalaya who mostly follow traditional farming methods have been utilizing an indigenous, traditional irrigation method of bamboo drip irrigation system to water their crops.

By raincentre

You will find here best resources on rainwater harvesting and purification in my blog and websites. Copyright lies with the respective content creator and writer. I started RainWaterHarvesting Yahoo Forum in June 2003.

Please free to write to me at raincentre at duck dot com.

6 replies on “Bamboo Drip Irrigation”

What is Bamboo Drip Irrigation?

Bamboo Drip Irrigation is an innovative irrigation method that makes use of streams and spring water sources on hilltops and directs them to fields of Betel Leaf and dark pepper crops planted in Arecanut plantations. Bamboo channels are utilized to tap perennial water from up-slopes, which is cleverly diverted to the lower parts using gravity. An ingenious system that wastes very little water and works to this day.
Bamboo Drip irrigation framework is widely prevalent in the War areas, Jaintia hills of Meghalaya and extends to the Muktapur area adjoining Bangladesh. These areas have steep slopes with a rough landscape. Hence, using ground channels in this area is unfavorable. So, bamboo drip irrigation is widely preferred.

How Does Bamboo Drip Irrigation, A Traditional Irrigation, Work?

Usually, water sources are distant from plantation sites and so the main bamboo channel runs several meters, sometimes even a couple of kilometres. Water is thus obtained and managed through a brilliant bamboo system of secondary and tertiary channels to reach each part and corners of the plantation, up to the base of the hill.
Channel sections are made of bamboos of different diameters, to control the water flow in such a way that the water reaches the site in the lower reaches, where it is circulated without spillage. The channels are supported by forked branches.
Bamboo has a natural hollow inside, which is why it becomes possible to use it as a conduit for water. We understand that to create the channels about one-third to half of the diameter of the bamboo is sliced off, including the inter-nodes.
Depending on the slope and the direction in which the water needs to travel to reach the field, different sizes of bamboo are used.
One must see it to understand the intricacy and the smartness of the system. It is estimated that even up to 20 liters of water flows into the channel every minute, from the main water source, which further travels a few hundred meters and becomes a trickle so that when it drops there is a better chance of absorption. A true drip irrigation system.
The last channel segment allows the water to be dropped close to the base of the plant.

Bamboo Drip Irrigation: A Marvel By Meghalaya’s Native Farmers
Meghalaya is located in the most serene places on earth. A state blessed with nature’s untouched forests, high plateaus, crystal clear waterfalls, rivers and winding streams.
Regardless of the time of the year, the weather here is pleasant. Meghalaya enjoys abundant sunshine, clear blue sky and yes, lots of rain too.
Meghalaya is well-known for having the highest rainfall in the world of about 11500 mm recorded annually. This makes Meghalaya the wettest places on earth. Though the local areas get a lot of rain during the monsoon season, a well-managed water system is a need during the dry season.

What is Bamboo Drip Irrigation? Bamboo Drip Irrigation is an innovative irrigation method that makes use of streams and spring water sources on hilltops and directs them to fields of Betel Leaf and dark pepper crops planted in Arecanut plantations.

The bamboo drip irrigation system is normally used to irrigate the betel leaf or black pepper crops planted in arecanut orchards or in mixed orchards. Bamboo pipes are used to divert perennial springs on the hilltops to the lower reaches by gravity. The channel sections, made of bamboo, divert and convey water to the plot site where it is distributed without leakage into branches, again made and laid out with different forms of bamboo pipes. Manipulating the intake pipe positions also controls the flow of water into the lateral pipes. Reduced channel sections and diversion units are used at the last stage of water application. The last channel section enables the water to be dropped near the roots of the plant.

What is Bamboo Drip Irrigation? Bamboo Drip Irrigation is an innovative irrigation method that makes use of streams and spring water sources on hilltops and directs them to fields of Betel Leaf and dark pepper crops planted in Arecanut plantations.

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