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160 Farmers to Benefit from Micro- Irrigation Program in Kapelebyong :: Uganda Radionetwork
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160 Farmers to Benefit from Micro- Irrigation Program in Kapelebyong

Martin Opolot, a resident of Acinga sub-county says that the initiative is good but the cost of co-funding might challenge interested farmers.
Francis Akorikin, Kapelebyong District Chairperson.
At least 160 farmers in Kapelebyong district are expected to benefit from the Micro-Scale Irrigation Scheme, a government initiative purposed to help smallholder farmers with small-scale irrigation technologies. 

The scheme is funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries- MAAIF, and the targeted beneficiaries must declare interest to the district to benefit from the scheme, according to Emmanuel Opio, the Kapelebyong District Communications Officer.

He says that the program targets individuals who have a water source and are in possession of at least 2.5 acres of land with the main focus on vegetable farming. “Access to the water source should not be more than 700 meters away from the gardens that need to be irrigated. The beneficiaries should also be willing to co-fund for the purchase of irrigation equipment at 25 percent as government meets 75 percent of the cost”, he said.

He said that the co-funding from the farmers may not exceed Shillings two million depending on the expanse of land. Opio adds that the beneficiaries of the scheme will have additional agricultural extension support to ensure the optimum use of their irrigation investments.

Martin Opolot, a resident of Acinga sub-county says that the initiative is good but the cost of co-funding might challenge interested farmers. “If the cost of co-funding the irrigation scheme is two million Shillings, very few people will manage to raise that money because of the high poverty levels. But it’s a timely government intervention," he said.

Statistics from Kapelebyong District Planning Unit indicate that more than half of the population is food insecure. The district is currently creating an awareness program for the scheme in all the sub-counties. The program is part of the Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfer Reform Programme [IFTRP] and is supported by the World Bank through the Uganda Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfer Programme [UgIFT].

The district is currently conducting awareness creation in all the lower local governments to enable the project to kick start before April 2023. Francis Akorikin, the Kapelebyong LC V Chairperson is optimistic that the irrigation scheme will help boost the food production in the district that has suffered pockets of insecurity since its inception in 2018.