East Africa Irrigation Technology Week, 2012

The largest exhibition and conference on irrigation technology and precision agriculture in East Africa to be held from 9th to 13th July, 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Nairobi, Kenya, September 27, 2011 --(PR.com)-- East Africa Irrigation Technology Week will be held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre from 9th to 13th July, 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya. As East African countries work to wards improving food security, irrigation is becoming important in increasing amount of land available for cropping. This international exhibition will be held in the capital city of Kenya, one of the largest growers and exporters of cut flowers and other horticultural products to global markets. This is also the only exhibition in East Africa that specializes in showcasing irrigation technology, including the emerging field of precision agriculture. The exhibition will attract exhibitors from Africa, Middle East, Europe, Asia and the America. East Africa Irrigation Technology Week guarantees both local and international participation. With high profile visitors and exhibitors, the exhibition is a major platform for networking as well as conducting business and sales.

With a specialized exhibition, a technology conference and field visits to live irrigation technology installations, East Africa Irrigation Technology Week is biggest specialized event in irrigated and precision agriculture in East and Central Africa.

Africa’s Irrigation potential is illustrated by this map:

Irrigation for promotion of food security in Africa

Irrigation has a proven potential to boost levels of agricultural productivity on the continent, as well as address the effects of climate change. Africa is, however, dramatically underserved in terms of irrigation. A 2009 research report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) states that African countries irrigate only about 6% of their collective cropland, compared with a world average of 18%. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 4% of farmland is under irrigation.

“The low coverage of irrigation technology and the slow rate of growth in coverage clearly represent a lost opportunity for Africa and a tremendous potential for future investment and policy effort,” said IFPRI.

The report also found that African countries produce 38% of their crops (by value) from cultivated land on which water is managed, suggesting that additional investment in irrigation would pay large benefits. The disproportionate contribution to agricultural production of Africa’s small irrigated area suggests that returns on additional investment in irrigation would be high, both in terms of greater food security for the continent and greater production of export-quality agricultural goods.

Drought and unpredictable rainfall patterns caused by climate change increases the need for irrigation. McKinsey & Company notes that even before global warming was a problem, many parts of Africa were particularly affected by droughts, heat waves and floods. As climate change becomes more of an issue, African agriculture will increasingly suffer because of unusual weather.

Irrigation companies are looking to capitalize on Africa’s need to irrigate farmland, from providing drip irrigation systems for smallholders to centre pivot technology for larger commercial projects.

African farmers need to establish a culture of using water efficiently and to introduce irrigation technology adapted for local needs. Africa has significant wealth of water but has not exploited this sufficiently for it to become a source of development for the continent. In addition to bringing new areas under irrigation, potential also exists to upgrade current systems operating at less than optimal levels or that have fallen into disrepair.

Irrigation is only one of the capital investments and inputs that Africa needs to boost agricultural productivity. Others include fertilizer, advanced seed technology, postharvest processing facilities, and access to markets. However, irrigation stands out strongly among these because of its role in stabilizing yields in the face of climatic variability, which has increased notably in recent times and is projected to increase further under almost all future climate change scenarios.

East Africa Irrigation Technology Exhibition Week 2012 will showcase equipment and services from leading manufacturers and other service providers to the irrigation and precision agriculture sub-sector.

East Africa Irrigation Technology Week, 2012
Yeshia Ngonge