Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Water and Environment has commissioned a small scale irrigation scheme worth 985 Million Shillings in Labongo Amida sub county in Kitgum district.
It was constructed by the ministry under the supervision of the Water for Production Northern Regional Centre with funding from the government.
The project sitting on a 10.5-acre piece of land has components of irrigation farmland, well-laid irrigation drip pipelines, a solar-powered pump station, water tanks of 10,000 cubic liters and has 10 beneficiaries farmer groups practicing mainly horticulture.
The Water for Production regional manager engineer Eric Ocan says that the scheme is meant to improve agricultural production and productivity through sustainably utilizing natural water resources.
The LCIII chairperson Labongo Amida sub county, Wilfred Nyeko commended government for the project saying it has helped beneficiary farmers reap big from the scheme since it has reduced reliance on rain-fed agriculture as they embark on commercial agriculture throughout the year. He appealed to the beneficiaries to jealously guard the project and stressed that they act as model farmers.
Nyeko however said that the small scale irrigation scheme is faced with challenges that include, inadequate extension services, the lack of safe drinking water, lack of transport facility to transport produce to markets and security installation at the facility.
The chairperson of the Akworo Small Scale Irrigation Farmers’ Association Christopher Nokrach says the small scale irrigation scheme will act as a model farm in the district. He says after being adequately trained to handle commercial agriculture to improve on high-value horticulture crops such as tomatoes, cabbages, eggplants, onions and watermelons amidst others, the farmers are expected to reap big from the scheme.
The State Minister for Environment Beatrice Atim Anywar says that the project is in fulfillment of a presidential directive as a means to improve agricultural production and productivity through commercial farming.
According to Anywar, the government adopted an irrigation policy in 2018 which strives to ensure similar projects are rolled out in each parish in every district across the country.