Updated Jul 13, 2019

Direct-Pipe Furrow Irrigation

Part of University of California, Davis

A system of using furrow irrigation to minimize conveyance losses, labor, and crop damage for flat lands in East Africa


Abraham Salomon

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Stage 4: Transition to Scale

Focus Areas:

Water Management and Agriculture Water Management

Water Management and Agriculture Water ManagementSEE LESS

Implemented In:



Country Implemented In
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Many farmers use small engine pumps to irrigate vegetables by placing pipes in the plot and allowing water to flood. This results in poor uniformity, very high labor requirement, and damage to the crops.



This system pumps water through a buried mainline, and uses a layflat pipe to fill furrows directly within each farmer's plot, minimizing the seepage losses in canals while maintaining the benefits of furrow irrigation.

Target Beneficiaries

Smallholder farmers

Mission and Vision

To reduce labor, water loss and crop loss among farmers using small pumps in flat areas.

Innovation Description

This system pumps water through a buried mainline, and uses a layflat pipe to fill canals within the fields to be irrigated. The plots are first leveled and furrrows made perpendicular to the main pipe. Take-off points are spaced on the main canal at 60 meters, with connections for the layflat pipe. This pipe then goes to the edge of a plot, where a farmer will have set a feeder canal for their furrows. Alternatively, a farmer can fill each furrow one by one with the pipe directly. Farmers use cutback irrigation, allowing the water to reach near to the end of the furrow before closing it and adding water to the next. This improves water application efficiency. Often this is done in sets of 3-4 furrows at a time to ease labor of opening and closing furrows.

The Team Behind the Innovation

Kate Scow- Professor of Soil Science and Microbial Ecology in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis Helen Acuku- Program Manager, Teso Womens Development Initiative. Betty Ikalany - Executive Director, Teso Womens Development Initiative. Abraham Salomon - Project manager of 'Innovations in Dry Season Horticulture' in Uganda.



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