The government will construct more than 70,000 small scale irrigation schemes countrywide to improve agricultural production and productivity, an official has said.
Mr John Twinomujuni, the assistant commissioner in-charge of water for production in the Ministry of Water and Environment, said the irrigation schemes will be constructed in each parish in Uganda.
“Government directed that the ministry should try to implement at least one in each parish in Uganda. I think we now have more than 7,000 parishes in Uganda and we are trying to ensure that we have at least a scheme in each parish,” Mr Twinomujuni told journalists in Aloi Sub-county in Alebtong District.
The assistant commissioner was in the area to commission Owameri Small Scale Irrigation Scheme. This particular scheme is currently benefiting 400 farmers in Aloi Sub-county.
Mr Twinomujuni said although the programme is still new, 40 irrigation schemes have so far been completed countrywide.
The chairperson of Owameri Farmers’ Association, Ms Mercy Gwom, said the Owameri Small Scale Irrigation scheme is faced with stressing challenges. The challenges include lack of safe drinking water, fire extinguisher and lack of vehicles to transport produce to markets.
“We request government to open up a police post at the scheme to provide security to the facilities,” he said.
Ms Costa Okello, the chairperson of Can-Opwonya farmers group, said they were adequately trained to handle commercial agriculture.
There are 21 groups at Owameri scheme that has 21 acres of farmland.
Alebtong District agricultural officer, Ms Jenifer Oyuru, said the project came at the right time when the area is badly hit by drought.