Performance Comparison of Experimental IoT Based Drip and Fibrous Capillary Irrigation Systems in The Cultivation of Cantaloupe Plants
The demand for freshwater and food is on the increase due to the rapid growth in the world’s population, while the effect of global warming and climate change poses a severe threat on water use and food security. Conventional irrigation system suffers due to an inefficient management of water and energy, while insufficient supply of water to plant increases their stress which often affects its growth and development. Hence, there is a need to increase research focus on water use efficiency in irrigation agriculture. This paper is aimed at investigating the performance of smart drip and subsurface fibrous capillary irrigation experiment for the cultivation of cantaloupe plant to increase the yield and quality of fruit while decreasing the water and energy usage. To achieve enhancement of subsurface fibrous capillary and drip irrigation system, an Internet of Things (IoT) approach was used to improve monitoring of soil, weather, plant and control of water application. The performance comparisons of both methods was evaluated in terms of water-saving in greenhouse cultivation experiment. The results obtained, shows that the smart fibrous capillary irrigation has water use efficiency of 19 g/Litre with average fruit sweetness of
13.5 Brix. While, drip irrigation has 4.85 g/Litre and average sweetness of 10 Brix on the harvested fruit after 90 days of cantaloupe plant cultivation experiment. These have shown that precision irrigation through enhanced smart fibrous capillary irrigation can be used to achieve high water-saving and a good quality yield. It is expected that the research output will help to improve water-saving agriculture towards achieving food security.
Keywords: Water Saving; Capillary Irrigation; Drip Irrigation; Internet of Things; Water Use Efficiency
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