June 8, 2018—Business people and new investors have been asked to set up manufacturing plants for solar-powered water pumps, which the government and individual farmers, can then buy to use in a planned campaign to expand irrigation coverage in Uganda.
“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,” President Yoweri Museveni said during the State of the Nation address this week.
He said, “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%. 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.”
Museveni announced that in the coming financial year, the government is going to work on over 17 irrigation schemes across the country. Referring to the present slow growth of the agriculture sector, Museveni said the government wants to encourage farmers to make more use of fertilizers to improve the quantity of their produce.
“Our phosphate fertilizer plant in Tororo is being built. At 2.5 kilogrammes per hectare, Uganda has one of the lowest rates of fertilizer use. 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%,” Museveni said.