Controlled porosity based sub-surface porous vessel (SSPV) structures for irrigating organic farms of fruits and vegetables

P. Jakhar, L. Dave, M. Ahmad, H. Rathore, N. Gehlot, S. Gupta, R. Satankar, A. Nighojkar, A. Plappally
The application of location-specific controlled porosity based frustum shaped subsurface porous vessels (SSPV) for irrigation is discussed in this article. For manufacturing of the SSPV, location-specific clay and sawdust were taken in percent by volume, press formed to frustum shapes under a 50-t load, and baked at a temperature of 750-800°C. The SSPV is hybridized with a surrounding layer of animal dung during sub-surface installation. The experiment is set on saline loamy sands of the Thar Desert Region in India for vegetable and fruit productivity. The farmers get their SSPV vessels from the traditional potter in the same village making this irrigation technology economical and sustainable. For this pilot study, cluster beans (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba), cucumber melon (Cucumis callosus), cucumber (Cucumis sativus), and water melon (Citrullus lanatus) were grown on an area of 7.5 m2 during the Kharif season. This controlled porosity based SSPV technology can be viewed as a modified form of pitcher irrigation. The desert soil showcased a steep rise in carbon content with a reduction in salinity after this technological intervention. The production rate of cluster beans, cucumber melon, cucumber, and watermelon for a projected 0.02 ha area was calculated to be 530, 2,010, 940, and 2,110 kg, respectively. The results indicate 80-90% productivity compared to yields from a fertilized flood irrigated field. The implication illustrates a possible scale-up for this low cost, inorganic-fertilizer-free, water, and soil conserving hybridized SSPV irrigation-based farming technology across the Thar Desert and other similar areas around the globe.
Jakhar, P., Dave, L., Ahmad, M., Rathore, H., Gehlot, N., Gupta, S., Satankar, R., Nighojkar, A. and Plappally, A. (2020). Controlled porosity based sub-surface porous vessel (SSPV) structures for irrigating organic farms of fruits and vegetables. Acta Hortic. 1298, 435-442
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1298.60
desert, cucumber, saline, leaching, pitcher, melon, potter

Acta Horticulturae