Capsicum Drip Irrigation: Enhancing Productivity and Water Efficiency

Capsicum, commonly known as pili pili hoho in Kenya, is a highly sought-after spice used in households across the country. Its farming has gained popularity due to the ready market and its ability to thrive in the favorable Kenyan climate.

To maximize yields and meet the growing demand, farmers are increasingly turning to drip irrigation as the most efficient and cost-effective method of watering their capsicum crops.

Benefits of Capsicum Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation has become the favored irrigation method for capsicum farming in Kenya due to its numerous advantages.

  • High efficiency: Unlike traditional overhead irrigation systems that are only 65-75% efficient, drip irrigation provides a remarkable efficiency rate of 95%. This high efficiency is achieved by delivering water directly to the plant’s root zone, minimizing water wastage through runoff and evaporation.

  • Improved plant health: Drip irrigation can help to improve the health of capsicum plants by reducing the risk of diseases and pests as water does not splash on the leaves.

  • Improved crop yields: Drip irrigation allows for precise control over the amount of water and nutrients supplied to each plant, resulting in improved crop health and higher yields.

  • Reduced labor costs: Drip irrigation can help to reduce labor costs, as it requires less time and effort to water the plants. Water is delivered automatically, saving time and costs.

  • Improved soil quality: Drip irrigation can help to improve soil quality by reducing the amount of water that is lost through evaporation. This can help to keep the soil moist, which can promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms.

Ecological Requirements for Capsicum Farming

Capsicum is a warm-season crop that thrives in relatively hot areas such as the Eastern and Coastal regions. However, capsicum can be grown nearly in each part of the country. It also performs well in central Kenya areas such as Nyeri and Kiambu, most parts of the Rift Valley, and Western Kenya.

Optimal temperatures for fruit setting range between 16-21°C, while good fruit development requires night temperatures of 15-17°C and day temperatures of 24-30°C. Frost is detrimental to capsicum plants, leading to stunted growth and malformed fruits.

The plans thrive in both low and altitude areas, ranging from coastal regions to high-altitude areas in the Mt Kenya areas.

They require moderate, well-distributed rainfall, but they can be grown under irrigation in drier areas or periods.

Although capsicum performs well in a wide range of soils, they flourish in deep, well-drained soils with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.0. Extremely acidic or alkaline soils do not favor the plant.

Capsicum Drip Irrigation Kit Cost


Size in Meters Square

Price in KES

Kit Kadogo

50 to 200

KES 14000

1/8th acre


KES 28000

1/4th acre


KES 45,000

1/2th acre


KES 80,000

3/4 acre


KES 120,000

1 acre


KES 146,000

Setting Up a Capsicum Drip Irrigation System

1. Land Preparation

Before installing a drip irrigation system, proper land preparation is essential. Clear the land of any debris, weeds, and other obstructions that may hinder the laying of drip tapes. If using raised beds, ensure they are 0.8 meters wide and 30 centimeters high to promote good drainage and prevent root rot.

2. Selecting the Drip Irrigation System

Choose a drip irrigation system suitable for capsicum farming. Consider factors such as spacing, water pressure, and emitter type. Grekkon Limited offers a capsicum drip irrigation kit designed for crops with medium-range spacing, including tomatoes and cabbages. Ensure the components of the system are compatible with the specific needs of capsicum cultivation.

3. Water Source

Identify a reliable source of water for your drip irrigation system. Options include wells, boreholes, rivers, streams, or dams. Ensure the water is clean and free from particles that may clog the drip irrigation system.

4. Designing the Drip Irrigation Layout

Consult with irrigation experts or vendors to design an efficient drip irrigation layout for your capsicum farm. The layout should consider factors such as the number of rows, drip line spacing, and emitter placement to ensure uniform water distribution throughout the crop.

5. Installation

Install the drip irrigation system according to the designed layout. Seek professional assistance from our team at Mazero, who will assist you in both small-scale and large-scale installations.

Pay attention to the proper connection of pipes, emitters, and filtration systems to ensure optimal performance.

6. Testing and Adjustments

After installation, thoroughly test the drip irrigation system to ensure proper functioning. Check that the emitters are dripping water as expected and adjust the water pressure if necessary. If any issues arise, consult an irrigation expert for troubleshooting.

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