According to the sources (website), it has been reported that researchers from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) have recommended a capillary-based irrigation system to help small-scale farmers to cope with the El Nino-induced drought conditions. The system will serve as an alternative to the drip irrigation system, which is considered to be costly for ordinary farmers as revealed by the researchers.
Further, the drip irrigation system involves delivery of water through a pipe distribution network of the main pipe, sub main, manifold and lateral pipes. In this system, the water is emitted through small outlets or drippers into the soil to be irrigated. On the other hand, in the capillary irrigation system, the water flows from the water source towards the capillary pipes and through gravity, the water is introduced directly to the crops through a wick. As it is stated that this system is also cheaper than the drip irrigation system because it can be made from cheaper or even recycled materials rather than conventional plastic.
In this project, the lead researcher of the project noted that the wick is biodegradable as it is made from cotton yarn and is readily available. Further, it has a uniform water discharge rate (WDR) of 32 milliliters per hour (ml/hr) at temperatures between 36-37 degrees centigrade. It has also been observed that the distance between the water level and the tip of the wick does not affect the WDR. In addition, the researchers claim that the system can last for at least two cropping seasons.