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300 Nwoya farmers targeted for irrigation project

At least 300 small-scale farmers in Nwoya district are set to benefit from a micro-scale irrigation program introduced by the government to skill farmers in the district. 

The project, which is being piloted in over 40 districts across the country including Nwoya, Omoro and Amuru districts in Acholi sub region, will see small scale farmers receive irrigation equipment capable of irrigating up to 2.5 acres of land.

Tabu Justin, the Nwoya Senior Agricultural Engineer told theCooperator that the government will pay between 25 and 75 percent of the total cost of the irrigation equipment depending on factors like the size of the land, distance from water points and cost of equipment.

Tabu said farmers are currently being selected by show of interest, adding that over 150 have already been selected.

“We have already received 48 million shillings from the ministry of agriculture which are using to sensitize farmers and local leaders and as well as setting up two demonstration sites,” He said.

Tabu noted that irrigation farming in the district is currently minimal with majority of farmers usually taking a break during the dry season.

Denis Omony, a local farmer in Lungulu Sub County, Nwoya district who was selected to benefit from the project, already has big plans.

“I will venture into growing tomatoes and cabbage during the dry season when prices are high.”

Omony who has been growing mainly beans and maize has already hired two acres of land located near a stream at Shs 80, 000 per year to be able to grow the vegetables.

Meanwhile, Alfred Okello who has been engaged in irrigation farming with a solar pump said he wants to expand his farm in Lapem village, Koch Goma Sub County.

“I have been growing tomatoes on two acres of land every year but I now want to expand to about 5 or 10 acres,” he said.

Okello, who supplies tomatoes to the local market in Nwoya, Gulu and Arua said he prefers planning in the dry season as the prices are better.

“I grow tomatoes three to four times a year because I want to maintain my customers,” Okello said, adding that he used solar equipment for power.

The small scale irrigation project is a cost sharing project that is run by the district and led by the Department of Agricultural Infrastructure Mechanization and Water for Agricultural production of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries with support from the World Bank.

Selected farmers are expected to be trained and irrigation equipment installed in their farms by October 2021.

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