Sironko district has received Shillings 800million from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries-MAAIF for the purchase of irrigation equipment to support high-value crop production under the scale irrigation program.
The District Production Officer, Patrick Charlie Okori, says that the project targets 250 farmers in the district cultivating about 700 meters away from any water source. The project targets farmers in Sironko town council, Budadiri town council and Bukise, Buwalasi, Bumasifwa, Buteza and Buyobo sub-counties among others.
He says that under the project, they will purchase both solar and fuel irrigation equipment depending on the need of the beneficiaries. According to Okori, those taking solar irrigation pumps will contribute 25 percent of the total cost while those opting for fuel pumps will pay 75 percent as co-funding for the equipment.
Janet Nafuya, Sironko District Agriculture Officer says that the money is already on the district accounts waiting for extension workers to complete sensitizing the beneficiaries from the targeted sub-counties to start distributing the pumps.
According to Nafuya, most commercial farmers have failed to progress due to the effects of climate change, adding that the irrigation equipment will be a game-changer for the farmers.
Isaac Musede, the focal person of the micro crop irrigation program, says the program will help boost the income of farmers especially those involved in commercial farming.
Bass Nabukwasi, the Sironko district production and Natural Resources secretary urged farmers to embrace the program such that they can boost their income.
She also asked the government to reduce the money for co-funding or distribute the pumps freely to the farmers.
Isaiah Sasaga Wanzira, the Budadiri East Member of parliament has asked the government to extend the program to all sub-counties in the district.
He argues that the targeted 250 farmers are too few compared to the need in the district.
Sarah Nambozo and Peter Madoi are some of the beneficiaries from Bukise sub-county.
They have welcomed the program saying that it is going to help them fight poverty since they will be selling and cultivating in all seasons.