Investigations and development of an efficient auto-regulative irrigation system with membrane materials

An irrigation pipe which supplies water according to plants’ demand and directly to the root zone without control devices or energy input – this was the vision of our development. After promising results from laboratory analysis we successfully applied for a financial support within the framework of the BMBF “Partnerships for Sustainable Solutions – Pilote Measures”.

With the support of the BMBF greenhouse trials were conducted at the experimental sites of the partners’ institutions during the project time 06/2011 – 11/2013. The main objective was to test the functionality of the membrane pipe at big scale and under different climate, soil and water conditions.

The project partners comprise:

from the scientific community

National Advanced School of Agronomy, Agricultural Water Management Institute, Algiers (Algeria)

Research Center for Science and Technologies in Arid Regions (C.R.S.T.R.A.), Biskra (Algeria)

Egerton University, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department (Kenya)

University of Kassel, Department of Agricultural Engineering (Germany)


Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Programme Eau Algérie

Technical Institute of Vegetable and Industrial Culture – Ministry of Agriculture (ITCMI)

from the industry sector:

MICRODYN-NADIR GmbH, Membrane Manufacturer

PFAFF Industrial AG – Manufacturer of Industrial Sewing and Welding Machines

The environment friendly subsurface irrigation pipe with the potential of auto-regulative operation represents a water saving irrigation system applicable for irrigated agriculture worldwide. The achieved results contribute to combat against decreasing water resources in Algeria, Kenya and in other countries and an effective means to help ensure food security.

The project contributes to the successful dialogue between researchers, institutions and professional organizations in the field of agricultural and industrial R&D activities. The African project partners will benefit from technical equipment and capacity building measures in the field of numerical simulations of water flow in irrigated soils, analysis of the socio-economic aspects with respect to the implementation of new technologies and training in innovative irrigation methods at a full-size and well- equipped test field in Witzenhausen, Germany.

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responsible : Andrea Dührkoop