EOS International has produced a drip irrigation system that costs 20 USD and efficiently distributes water to a 50 m2 farm plot using local materials found in rural Nicaragua. The system provides simple, novel improvements to conventional drip irrigation systems in order to reduce cost while remaining reliable and robust. For example, traditionally used water containers, typically 55 gallon barrels, are replaced with a 80 l / 20 gal water sack consisting of a garbage bag reinforced with a sack. We also utilize a cloth, which can be as simple as a piece of old clothing, wrapped around a 2 l plastic bottle (cut in half) as an interchangeable filter. Unnecessary components including extra valves or PVC pipes are removed resulting in a super-low-cost, simple design. Finally, we use a drill to manually create water holes throughout the drip tape hoses. These simple yet effective solutions allow farmers in the poorest rural regions of Nicaragua to gain access to simple yet effective drip irrigation systems.
Drip irrigation technology is very common throughout the developing world. However, drip irrigation is still too expensive for the poorest of farmers who typically make less than 2 USD per day. When EOS first began building and installing drip irrigation systems in Nicaragua in 2009, a 50 m2 plot cost approximately 58 USD using conventional materials. Through testing and implementation of these technologies within family farms throughout rural Nicaragua, EOS has developed simple solutions that have reduced the cost of the system while maintaining reliability and robustness of the systems. The simple design and low-cost components of EOS drip irrigation systems make it a preferred technology for increasing crop productivity on both small and large farm plots.
The materials to build a drip irrigation system are 20 USD/system for a 50 m2 plot. In addition, technicians who are responsible for advertising and installation of the systems are paid 500 USD per month. Also, gas costs approximately 150 USD per month in order to facilitate advertisement and installation.
EOS provides financial support for those that cannot afford to pay for the systems. However, an essential aspect of the EOS mission is that our technologies are low-cost, but are not free. EOS empowers Nicaraguans by working with them as autonomous customers rather than recipients of charity. EOS also partners with PHPG, a micro-finance organization which is able to provide 0% interest loans and effectively manage the repayment process. Therefore, customers can obtain a loan for a drip irrigation system, and repay the loan after one or two seasons when they can sell their extra crop produce for income. This ensures our technologies can reach even the poorest rural regions.
- Drip Irrigation by EOS International costs 20 USD/system for a 50 m2 plot.
- Drip Irrigation is life-changing in regions like Nicaragua that experience a 6 month dry season.
Organization: EOS International
Contact: Wesley Meier
Used by: Nicaragua
Water & Waste Water