Tribal farmers of the north-eastern part of India have been using an indigenous technique of bamboo drip irrigation to irrigate their plantation crops for more than 200 years.
The topology of the region is hilly with steep slopes and rock boulders which has the soil depth with low and poor water retention capacity. The terrain imposes a challenge in bringing the water from distant sources to the plantations. The tribal farmers came up with this unique irrigation system as the challenges were imposed by the terrain for diverting the water through the ground channels and was mostly impossible.
Bamboo drip is used to bringing water to seasonal crops by using bamboo as it is a locally available material while harnessing the forces of gravity. An assortment of holed bamboo shoots zig-zag downhill, diverting the natural flow of streams and springs across terraced cropland. The advantages of using bamboo are two-fold - it prevents leakage, increasing crop yield with less water, and makes use of natural, local, and inexpensive material.