The government, in partnership with the Korea Rural Community Corporation, is set to construct an integrated irrigation scheme at River Mpologoma in Kibuku District to address the persistent dry spell and increase on household incomes.
The $1.28b (Shs4.5 trillion) Mpologoma River Basin Integrated Agriculture Development Project, is being spear-headed by the Ministry of Agriculture.
During a sensitisation meeting for political and technical staff from Kibuku and Pallisa districts on Wednesday, the director of crop resources in the Agriculture ministry, Mr Okassai Opolot, who represented the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Vicent Ssempijja, revealed that the scheme is intended to establish a stable agricultural-production-based environment.
He said the project will also improve post-harvest processing facilities, distribution, agricultural produce marketing and also build capacity for poverty alleviation and job creation in rural areas.
“The ministry is implementing the directive of the President to fully utilise the existing [water] resources to promote irrigation systems because of the prevailing situation that has been compounded by the long dry spell,” Mr Okassai said.
He explained that the project, to be constructed on River Mpologoma in Pallisa and Kibuku districts, is to run for 49 years and is to be implemented in phases.
Mr Okassai explained that the project will be multi-sectoral in nature involving ministries, departments and agencies responsible for agriculture, water, environment, energy, local government, trade, investment and private sector.
Mr Henry Nakelet Opolot, an assistant commissioner in the department of agricultural infrastructure and water for agricultural production under the ministry of Agriculture, said the feasibility study has been done and the project will entail several components, including aquaculture, domestic water supply and livestock farming.
The Kibuku Resident District Commissioner, Ms Margaret Wazikonya, urged politicians and other stakeholders to sensitise their communities about the good of the project. She also noted the current trend of wetland destruction has reached an alarming rate and this has contributed to the current prolonged dry spell.
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