Farmers decry underutilized Shs720m irrigation scheme in Dokolo

Dokolo, (UG):- Residents of Olweny cell in Agwat Town Council in Dokolo District have failed to utilize the Shillings 720 million small-scale irrigation scheme constructed for them by the government in 2018. 

The World Bank-funded water-production project was meant to provide water to the farmers for irrigation in the dry season to boost production. 

A visit by DailyExpress established the irrigation scheme that sits on 24 acres of land divided into plots and installed drip pipes spread across gardens.

The place has a big greenhouse nursery bed but only a few plots are being used for growing indigenous vegetables while a sunk of plots are abandoned and now bushy. 

However, local leaders say that even the communities neighboring the dam have never used it. 

Tonny Obel, the LCIII Chairman of Agwate Town Council blames the abandonment of the scheme for the lack of sensitization of the targeted beneficiaries. He however appealed to the government to rehabilitate the dam to boost production and fight poverty.

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Paul Ojok, a member of Odeye small-scale farmer’s group, swagged a net profit of 1.5 million shillings he is earning yearly from his tomato plot.

He said that Victoria Seeds Limited has stepped in to support the farmers with free seeds for planting thus motivating farmers to engage in large-scale vegetable production.

Dokolo District Chairperson, Mr James Otoo Apili in a telephone interview with this publication pledged to follow up on the matter to ascertain why the dam was not put to good use.

“My committee will take up the matter and investigate why the dam was abandoned and forge the ways forward,” he said.

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