Overall Seasonal Energy Cost Analysis of Smallholder Pumped Irrigation Systems in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands of Kenya

Stanley Njenga Kang’au (Corresponding author),
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology,
Biomechanical and Environmental Engineering Department,
P.O. Box 62,000-00200, Nairobi, Kenya.
Tel: (+250)782 681 998/ (+254) 720 915 971, E- mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Patrick Gathogo Home
BEE Department, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology,
P.O. Box 62,000-00200, Nairobi, Kenya.
Tel: (+254), 727 933 413, E- mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Jomo Mwangi Gathenya
BEE Department, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology,
P.O. Box 62,000-00200, Nairobi, Kenya.
Tel: (+254)723 667 602, E- mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Abstract
In Kenya, there has been an increase in the number of smallholder farmers using motorized pumps in their irrigation activities. Increased fuel costs have led to significant rise in cost of crop production in irrigated agriculture. Combined with other factors such as demand and supply, market price variation, the operation costs have hence gone up.  The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the uptake rate of smallholder pumped irrigated agriculture as well as evaluate cost of production as a result of fuel use. The study was carried out Arid and Semi Arid areas and data was collected from 80 smallholder farmers through face to face questionnaire and observational study. 10 pumps used in 10 different sample farms were considered in analysis. 80% of the studied population used motorized pumps indicating a high uptake rate. 65% of the sample population cited that high cost of fuel was the most limiting factor in smallholder irrigated agriculture. There was high variation in amount of fuel used to irrigate 1 hectare of land in the studied farms. In nearly all the farms investigated, over 50% of the total cost of production resulted from fuel used to run the pumps.