Updated Jul 28, 2019

Micro basins for vegetables

Part of University of California, Davis

Small flat basins with bunds on all sides for easy application of large irrigation depth.


Abraham Salomon

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Stage 4: Transition to Scale

This has been tested in Uganda and can be scaled up to other sites in the region.

Focus Areas:

Water Management and Agriculture Water Management

Water Management and Agriculture Water ManagementSEE LESS

Implemented In:



Country Implemented In
Verified Funding


Getting water deeper into the soil is required for longer intervals between irrigation. Because of the soil's natural infiltration rate, this can require long irrigation times for farmers.



This system uses very small basins to allow water to concentrate around the crops, increasing the speed a farmer can apply water and allow it to infiltrate slowly. It also reduces runoff and increases water application efficiency.

Target Beneficiaries

Smallholder farmers

Mission and Vision

To improve the ease of irrigation.

Innovation Description

These basins are made in sizes ranging from 1x1 meters up to 8x8 meters. Smaller basins are made for farmers using jericans to manually pour water into them, and larger basins are suitable for small pumps. Farmers create square bunds in a line across the slope, to try to reduce slope within each basin. For areas which experience poor drainage, these basins can be made with drainage canals in between. The bund should be 8-10 cm high for systems using a water pump, but can be shorter for systems filled by hand. Once the bunds are made, the soil inside the basin must be leveled by hand. This is done first by sight, but once a farmer feels it is adequately flat, water is poured inside to expose raised and lowered areas. A final leveling is done after this, and the plot can then be transplanted. Mulch can also be applied to reduce evaporation loss, since the entire soil surface in the basin becomes exposed to wind and sun. An irrigation depth can be applied to fill the root zone of the crop, and allowed to seep into the soil at the natural rate.

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.



Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In

Supporting Materials