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Gov’t Told To Invest More In irrigation

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Ivan Tsebeni and Richard Ategeka 

Stakeholders have asked the government to invest more in irrigation so as to spur agro-production industry. This, according to satke holders, will aid the national economy to recover from the consequences of Covid-19 lockdown.

Speaking on Tuesday , March 21, 2023 at Sheraton Kampala Hotel during the launch of Public Investment Financing Strategy (PIFS), Stephen Asiimwe, the executive director of Provat Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) said the country still largely depends on rain water, something he said slows economic growth.

He noted that investing in irrigation would mean fighting food insecurity and increasing domestic saving, and that it would increase productivity.

“We have potential to exploit the opportunities that come with agriculture, but shall only become useful when we have irrigation at hand. Irrigation will be a fulcrum for development,” Asiimwe said.

According to the National Irrigation Policy report of 2022, currently, Uganda’s ratio of cultivated area under irrigation to the irrigation potential is only 0.5%. This compares lowly to 3.6% for Tanzania, 2.0% for Kenya and 1.6% for Burundi.

Additionally, Asiimwe also demanded that transport sector be prioritized so as to tap into the country’s rich tourism industry. He said railway, water, road and air transport would help guide identify critical markets and also grow them to feed on the country’s produce.

He noted that tourism has flourished over the recent years, observing that it could have more improvement when transport is well handled.

“All transport modes are very important for tourism because they facilitate the movement of tourists from the place of departure to the place of destination. Transportation enables to transport the tourists to locations where other (tourism) services are provided,” Asiimwe said.

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