Micro-irrigation: Technology for efficient water application


Micro irrigation is considered as one of the most efficient irrigation systems, but it should be management and maintained properly to keep it to perform at its best to enhance crop growth and water productivity.

The concept of micro irrigation originated during the initial “discovery” and development of drippers and drip irrigation in Israel. However, its inevitable evolutionary process (as well as opposition) consequently led to the invention of Micro-sprayers. The original term “micro spray irrigation” was soon abbreviated to “micro irrigation.” This created some confusion, which prompted the current generation of irrigation experts to stop referring to the concept, but rather to refer in the vernacular to the two main components which are used to apply the concept as:

  • drippers (drip irrigation systems or drip systems); and
  • Micro-sprayers, also called micros (or mini-sprinklers by some manufacturers).

Global demand for food is likely to double in the next 25 to 30 years mainly due to population growth and change in diet and many countries are endeavouring to achieve food security at a national level. A major portion of this increased food demand can be fulfilled from irrigated agriculture.

Irrigated agriculture plays a major role in the livelihoods of nations all over the world and although irrigation is one of the oldest known agricultural techniques, improvements are still being made in irrigation methods and practices. During the last three decades, micro irrigation systems made mayor advances in technology development and the uptake of the technology increased from 3 Mha in 2000 to more than 18 Mha in 2020.

Micro-irrigation is an irrigation method that applies water slowly to the roots of plants, by depositing the water either on the soil surface or directly to the root zone, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters

Irrigated agriculture in the world

Irrigation is practiced on more than 300 million ha (ICID Survey, 2020). The top ten countries irrigate 67,3% of the world’s total. Four countries – China, India, USA, and Pakistan – have the largest irrigated areas.The full article is for subscribed members only. To view the full article please subscribe. It’s FREE!Log In Register

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