By Martha John Savio – Kitgum Uganda
Farmers in Agoro irrigation scheme express dismays over delayed water rehabilitation process into the gardens, almost half a year now.
Farmers representative of Agoro irrigation scheme Mr. Oola Peter said, water rehabilitations are not fully carried out, and is also delayed which is worrying Agoro Irrigation farmers.
Mr. Oola said this on Wednesday during the commemoration of World Food Day in Lamwo district Agoro Sub-County at Agoro irrigation scheme sites.
Under the theme, ‘Leave no one behind: Better production, better nutrition, better environment and better life’.
Mr. Oola said that, they are not yielding sufficient crops enough due to technical delays in the scheme which has lowered farmers’ ability of production.
Mr. Oola added that, there are also other factors challenging the irrigation scheme low productivity such as, equipment breakdown like tractors; risk of soil infertility, low pricing of products and financial constraints. However, He appeals to stake holders in the upper government like the Parliament members of Lamwo district including the production officer of Lamwo district Mr. Muhende Patrick Agaba to address these challenges and find a lasting solution of Agoro irrigation scheme to restore the lost glory of the scheme.
Meanwhile, the Chairperson of Agoro Sub-County Mr. Oworondo Peter Fred cautioned constructors to finish up their technical work so that, the scheme should be handed back to the farmers for next planting season.
Mr. Oworondo future cautioned the new Management at the scheme to bring changes and transformation in Agoro irrigation scheme.
Mr. Oworondo further cautioned management of Farmers cooperatives not to misuse the scheme equipment by hiring yet the profit realized is not pushed back to support the scheme in any way expected.
Mr. Oworondo still more cautioned farmers to work in groups for cheap labour and fasten production process.
Residence district commissioner of Lamwo district Mr. Oceng Geoffrey Osborne said Agoro Sub county had been the food basket for the whole Acholi sub region through the irrigation scheme.
‘I will not watch the irrigation scheme being mismanaged and do nothing over it’ Mr. Oceng laments.
Mr. Oceng appeals to all the councilors and Woman Member of Parliament Lamwo district Mrs. Achora Nancy to step in and solve the irrigation scheme problems by going to the Ministry of Water in Kampala to finance the project or if constructors are not legible enough, they should be changed.
He further cautioned farmers to commercialized agriculture, be proactive in industrialization, carry services in communication technology and plans for pricing of their products as government priorities to chase poverty through Parish Development Model.
Meanwhile, Opoka Thomas the irrigation supervisor said, Agro farmers are lagged behind compared to other districts due to the transformation process in the irrigation system from canal to pipe hydrogen system and the contractors are very slow.
Yet they, constructors are supported by the Ministry of Water.
On engaging with the constructors, Gate technical services Engineer Jamadol Kyamaywa and Kagga consultancy company limited for monitoring Mr. Kigongo Ashruf; the duo said, the only money they received for the rehabilitation for a half project to begin rehabilitation process since August but up to date they have not been fine, as financially supported to be able to complete rehabilitation work effectively.
Agoro Irrigation scheme was well known in Northern Uganda for growing commercial Rice after Doha and other irrigation schemes in Eastern, West Eastern Uganda History.
Agoro irrigation scheme begun far way back in in 1952-1966 by community initiatives.
In 1970, government of Uganda upgraded to irrigation scheme and encouraged growth of rice, mainly subsequent with maize, groundnuts and Horticulture growth of vegetables. It is 160 hectors section into 9 portions.
In 2013 the government secured 2.7 billion shillings for rehabilitation and handed 1,650 hectors of land to farmers but rehabilitation was not effective.
2021 the government resumed rehabilitation but was interrupted by the outbreak of COVID-19 till this year in August it resumed but is currently facing financial constraints for completions.