Uganda registered growth in its agriculture export sector, attributing the uptick to the use of mechanized methods, for instance, investment in irrigation schemes.
Agricultural mechanization involves the provision and use of improved technologies as a means of empowering farmers to develop from subsistence to commercial farming.
According to the latest status report by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), since the government embarked on this strategy, the country’s exports increased from $1.326 billion in 2015/16 to $1.585 billion in 2018/19.
“In other words, the increased access to water for agriculture production by farmers has resulted in increased yield and production in the irrigated areas,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.
“Much of this increase in exports is attributed to the fast-growing horticulture sub-sector, where irrigation has helped farmers grow crops all year round regardless of the weather patterns.”
According to the report, horticulture is most thriving due to the government’s continued investment in the construction of irrigation schemes that have helped rural farmers water their crops during harsh weather.
Some of the major irrigation schemes that are to completed soon include Torchi in Oyam district, Ngenge in Kween district and Mobuku II in Kasese district, Doho II in Butaleja district and Wadelai in Pakwach district.
The schemes, when complete, will greatly contribute to increased production of rice, aquaculture, fruits and vegetables, the ministry said.
At the same time, the ministry’s development of the irrigation policy has also provided a regulatory framework for private and public investments.
To further boost irrigation at the regional level, the government is also constructing four mechanization centers. According to the ministry, the regional mechanization centers will decentralize the irrigation and water for agriculture production services across Uganda.