iDE's specialized drip irrigation systems lower the cost of traditional irrigation by replacing conventional emitters with holes and micro tubes, shifting water distribution lines extending to crops, and by customizing system layouts for small plots.
Development of a hanging plastic water storage bag further lowers the cost to about $5 for a household garden kit covering 20 square meters (215 square feet). In fact, any plot under 0.4 hectare (one acre) can benefit from these systems, but their modular design allows for expansion above that. They provide water savings of 30-70 percent, greatly reduce labor, and accurately deliver fertilizers. This makes cultivation during the dry season possible, with resulting yield increases of up to 30 percent.
There are three different models:
Microtube Drip Irrigation Systems Narrow micro-tubes bring water to the base of each plant from soft flat water lines. Inserting these micro-tubes into the water lines and ensuring that they remain unblocked takes effort. However, the system offers many advantages, including water savings of 30–70 percent as compared to traditional surface irrigation methods, improved yield and quality of crops, and reduced irrigation labor.
Button Emitter Drip Irrigation Systems The button emitters are an optional add-on to pre-punched drip irrigation tape, and when installed they direct a steady flow of water to the desired spot. Inserting these button emitters into the water lines and ensuring that they remain unblocked takes effort. However, the system offers many advantages, including water savings of 30–70 percent compared to surface irrigation methods, improved crop yield and quality, and reduced labor.
Baffle Pre-Punched Drip Irrigation Systems This product comes assembled with small plastic sleeves, or baffles, which localize water flow from pre-punched holes in the drip lines. Baffle pre-punched drip irrigation can provide water savings of 50–70 percent compared to surface irrigation methods, with improved crop yield and quality and reduced labor.
iDE is an international non-profit dedicated to ending poverty in the developing world not through handouts, but by helping farm families access the tools and knowledge they need to increase their income.
iDE's origins as a formal organization lie in a visit to a Somalian refugee camp in 1982. It was there that founder Paul Polak noticed a critical lack of transport limiting the economic opportunities of refugees who were relying on manual transportation for all commodities. Following the principle "in technology, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication," iDE re-engineered the local donkey cart and interested local artisans in manufacturing one with a more efficient center of gravity, using abandoned car parts for affordability. The donkey carts were a success; more than 500 were sold, producing $1 million of net income for cart owners.
Publicly available: yes
Countries where available: Worldwide
Price range (USD): 1 to 20 USD