Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Bududa district farmers are questioning the rationale of the micro irrigation scheme. Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is piloting the scheme in 40 districts to boost production as part of the National Irrigation policy 2040.
The government has targeted 200 farmers in Bududa to benefit from the program. Government contributes 75% of the total cost of the irrigation equipment leaving the remaining 25 percent for the farmer.
Peter Wateya, a farmer from Bududa sub county says the project will only benefit those with money to buy the equipment and not small scale farmers like him. He argues that it is very hard for small-scale farmers to raise Shillings 2 million required for the project.
Naume Wazemba, another farmer from Nalwanza sub county says most of the farmers in Bududa district are small scale practitioners, saying it will be hard for them to raise at least an acre of land. She says most land is fragmented and farmers don’t have sufficient land.
Penina Nambozo, another farmer asked the government to give them the equipment freely since they are after bettering their livelihoods and improving production in the piloted districts. She says the contribution is part of their tax which should be given to them freely as taxpayers.
Gift Nabuayi, another farmer from Bukigayi sub county says she would buy the irrigation equipment from agro-input dealers as opposed to the government which should have offered them the equipment freely. She said the 25% of what the farmers are expected to contribute is sufficient to buy her own equipment.
Simon Wadada, the Bududa district agricultural officer who is also the focal person for the scheme says it is targeting farmers with the capacity of fulfilling the requirements. He regrets that some farmers will not benefit from the program yet it came for all those who are interested.