By Damba Rogers, EYEWITNESSUG/NECJOGHA
KAMPALA, UGANDA: Farmers in Uganda have been urged to embrace water harvesting during the heavy rains and use the water to irrigate their crops during the dry season.
“We are promoting and supporting climate smart agriculture and for this, encouraging planting of short maturing crops and water harvesting technologies,” Daniel Omodo Momondu, the acting team leader climate change and disaster resilience, UNDP Uganda offices said at the Ministry of Water and Environment offices in Kampala on Monday.
Farming in Uganda is mainly rain-fed which sometimes causes frustration mainly during the dry season when crops fail. So Ugandan farmers are now being advised to embrace irrigation if they are to register constant yields and this is being promoted by the ministries of Water and Environment (MWE) as well as Agriculture Animal Industries and Fisheries (MAAIF).
Omodo said that UNDP working with MWE and MAAIF are trying to see that farmers in the country transform from depending on water to facilitate crop and animal farming to using technologies to facilitate their activities.
“Some farmers have already started crying about the dry season yet during the rainy season they left all the water to be taken away,” Omodo said.
A 2015 water survey carried out by MWE, Makerere University School of Environment Science and other development partners reveals that 90% of the rain water is just wasted putting only 10% to use. The statistics worried the researchers being that uganda’s backbone is agriculture which depends on rain water.
On the other hand, the technical advisor, climate change at the German development cooperation (GIZ) John Kasiita Ssemulema is urging the private sector to start investing more in importing and selling modern technologies to farmers, and in this way they will be able to combat effects of climate change as they go on with their daily agricultural activities.
The 2017/18 World Bank report indicates that Uganda lost between 4 to 12 percent of her GDP to insufficiencies in the agriculture sector. It is estimated that only 2% of Uganda’s cultivated land is farmed using irrigation..