The president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni Kaguta has said his government is going to put more efforts to improve the agricultural sector by embarking on major irrigation schemes and use of fertilizers.
Speaking yesterday at Serena Hotel during the State of the Nation Address, the President of Uganda noted that agriculture which remains Uganda’s backbone has experienced the least growth hence, the need for more efforts to improve the sector.
“When we say that the economy is growing reasonably well, we mean that the four sectors are growing well. Indeed, industry grew at 6.2% per annum, services at 7.3%, ICT at 7.9% and agriculture at 3.2%,” the President said.
He added that: “As you can see, it is only agriculture that is still growing slowly. Fortunately, we have or will soon have the necessary boosters for agriculture. These will be the use of fertilizers by more Ugandan farmers than at present and the farmers will use more irrigation.”
The president announced that in the coming financial year, the Government is going to work on over 17 irrigation schemes in different districts using the government budget.
The schemes included: Doho phase II in Butalejja district, Mubuku phase II in Kasese district, Wadelai in Nebbi district, Tochi in Oyam district, Ngenge in Oyam district, Atari (Bulambuli and Kween), and Katete in Kanungu district.
Others included: Kawumu in Luwero district, Amagoro (Tororo district),Nabigaga (Kamuli district), Rwimi (Kasese and Kabarole district), Nyimur (Lamwo), Musamya (Kayunga), Kibimba (Gomba), Kabuyanda (Isingiro), Matanda (Isingiro), and Igogero-Naigombwa (Iganga and Bugiri).
The president also encouraged industrialists to set up assembly or manufacturing plants for solar-powered water pumps that the government and individual farmers can buy and use in the big irrigation schemes.
“Some of these pumps and water conveyance systems will be used in government funded irrigation schemes. Others, however, will be used by the farmers at their own cost. I encourage all the capable farmers to, at their own cost, go into irrigation,” he said.
The president also urged farmers to make use of fertilizers to improve the quantity of their produces.
“Our phosphate fertilizer plant in Tororo, Uganda, which at 2.5kgs per hectare has one of the lowest rates of fertilizer use, will now stir itself up to use more fertilizers. We are looking for an additional investor to blend the phosphates with nitrogen and potassium in order to formulate NPK (Nitrogen, phosphates and potassium), with the use of NPK, production will go up by 30%,” the president said.