Using Irrigation to Improve Agricultural Output
One of the ways in which we can improve agricultural output is through the use of irrigation. This, of course, applies in places that receive sub-optimal rainfall levels. In such places, it is possible to double — or even triple — agricultural output through irrigation. The whole thing can be likened to the change in fortunes attained upon moving from being a Walmart1 associate to working at a top Wall Street financial firm. It would translate to moving from having to rely on the meager WalmartOne (www.walmartone.com) paychecks, to being in command of six-figure Wall Street paychecks! In a nutshell, it is a huge improvement in fortunes. The actual process of using irrigation to improve agricultural output entails:
- Designing the irrigation system: here, you get to make decisions on the source of the water to be used for irrigation, how the water is to be pumped from the source to the land that is to be irrigated, and the specific crops to be grown using the irrigation system.
- Preparing the land that is to be irrigated: this may entail clearing the vegetation that is growing on the land, and preparing the furrows through which the irrigation water is to be channeled.
- Buying the irrigation equipment: here, you may have to buy water pumps, and the pipes through which the water is to be pumped.
- Setting up the irrigation equipment: this may entail assembling the pump, and connecting it to the pipes. If it is an electricity-powered pump, it would have to be connected to the power grid.
- Pumping water into the land that is to be irrigated: this should just be a question of putting the pump on, whereupon the water flows through the pipes, to the land that is being irrigated.
- Tending to the crops that are being irrigated: the crops obviously need other things, besides the water, for them to grow optimally. Remember, the objective is to improve the agricultural output – which means applying fertilizers, managing the weeds and pests, pruning the crops (if they need pruning)… and so on.
- Harvesting the crops that were being irrigated: depending on the scale of the irrigation project, and the type of crop in question, the harvesting may be done mechanically or manually.
- Marketing the crops that were grown using irrigation: the objective here should be to ensure that you earn enough money from the crop to recoup the costs and earn a reasonable profit.