Tea farmers petition government over irrigation

Saturday January 12 2019

A farmer tends to her tea in Kamwenge.  Photo

A farmer tends to her tea in Kamwenge. Photo by Felix Basiime 

By Felix Basiime

Overwhelmed by losses due to poor weather, farmers in Kamwenge, a leading tea growing district want government to provide them with soft loans to invest in irrigation facilities.
The farmers argue that investing in irrigation facilities will help them minimise losses caused by the dry spell.

Herbert Mutebi, a tea farmer in Kagada II Village in Kiyagara Sub-county, says he expected to harvest about 1,000 kilogrammes of tea last season but only got 300 kilogrammes because of the bad weather.
Mutebi calls on government to sensitise farmers through technical people on how they can carry out irrigation and help the farmers acquire soft loans to purchase irrigation equipment.
Currently, Mutebi uses rudimentary methods to water his tea garden, which he says is not enough.

Mutebi grows tea on 2.5-acre land. The farmer says he cannot afford a standard irrigation facility because of his low income.
He says it could work better if government extended soft loans to help them build better irrigation facilities.
Peter Kaggwa, a farmer in his late 40s and a resident of Kaburaisoke Village in Kamwenge Town Council does not have even the basic irrigation facility.

The farmer grows crops on his one acre but gets very poor yields because of dry spells.
Aggrey Natuhamya, the district LC 5 chairman, says steps are being taken to help farmers acquire standard water storage and irrigation facilities.