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Drip Irrigation for High Value Horticulture 

- Mr. Sanh 

During the hot summers in Thua Thien Hue province, farmers can only water their plants in the early morning and late afternoon. During the hottest part of the day, watering damages the young plants. As a result, yields are low and farmers struggle to make a living during the summer.

Mr. Sanh, a 62-year-old farmer, is one of the many professional vegetable cultivators in Quang Thanh commune. He grows seven different vegetable crops during the year on a monthly cycle. Mr. Sanh agreed to install a drip irrigation system on 75 square meters of his land to test its effect on a new crop of Chinese Cozla, a fast-growing vegetable that can be harvested continually during the course of the month. Mr. Sanh watered the remainder of the Chinese Cozla in the usual way, by hand.

After only 10 days, the impact of the drip irrigation was already visible. The plants fed by the drip system were significantly larger and healthier than those watered by hand. With water applied directly to the roots of the plants, the soil around them was kept constantly moist even during the hottest part of the day. While the other plants were beginning to droop, Mr. Sanh was harvesting Chinese Cozla from the drip site on a daily basis.

I couldn’t believe it; my yield nearly doubled, and it was so easy.” he said.

Not only that, but due to the efficiency of the drip system, the crop only took 25 days to mature rather than the usual month, allowing  time to grow another crop during the year.

Based on his experience, Mr. Sanh decided to purchase a drip system to grow spring onions, which have almost double the value of Chinese Cozla but are difficult to hand water due to their fragile leaves. Mr. Sanh was prepared to pay $15-$20 for a system that would cover a 100 square-meter plot, an investment he expects profits from that plot alone to repay – with about $5 in surplus profits – after the first harvest.

Other farmers in Mr. Sanh’s commune have expressed interest in buying drip systems. The Chairman of the People’s Committee, Mr Ly, has seen the results and has promised to allocate revolving loans for poor farmers to buy their own drip systems.
 

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