Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The 700 Million Shillings Abera mini-irrigation scheme has boosted vegetable growing among farmers in Paibona Sub County Gulu district.
The scheme located in Ayweri Village was constructed by the Ministry of Water and Environment to facilitate commercial farming among vulnerable households in Gulu district.
Erick Ocan, the Chairperson of farmers at the project says that more than 100 members are embracing the growing of several acres of vegetables at the scheme.
They include watermelons, dodo, green papers, onions and tomatoes on large scale. He explained that the project targets the most vulnerable households which include persons living with HIV, widows and widowers, orphans, child-headed families and the elderly.
The irrigation scheme is situated on a 15 acres plot of land that was offered by members of the community.
Alfred Okot the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water and Environment said that the irrigation scheme seeks to benefit farmers whose crop production is greatly affected by the long dry spelt experienced in Northern Uganda.
The farmers say that the irrigation scheme will boost the growth of vegetables which has been a problem due to the arid weather conditions in the area.
Lucy Aloyo, one of the farmers said that they have grouped themselves to produce vegetables in bulk for commercial purposes for an improved livelihood and household income.
Caesar Lukwiya, another farmer is optimistic that coming together to utilize the irrigation scheme will greatly improve their production.
Patrick Okello Mucana also believes that the irrigation scheme will relieve farmers from the burden of harsh weather conditions that have affected the growth of vegetation because they require a constant water supply.
Erick Ocan, the farmers` chairperson says that once harvested, the vegetables are sold in bulk to a market that will also be sourced in coordination with the district commercial and production department.
According to Ocan, each farmer is required to contribute 30% of their yield for maintenance, buying seeds and operation at the Irrigation Scheme site.
Richard Watmon, the Paibona Sub County Chairperson says that the irrigation scheme will greatly boost vegetable farming among the beneficiaries and also improve household income.