Rice farmers in Bugiri and Bugweri districts in Uganda have been praised for living up to the expectations of the government efforts to increase household production and productivity.
Hon. Henry Aggrey Bagiire, the State Minister for Agriculture said this this while inspecting the state of irrigation schemes of Igogero and Naigombwa in Bugiri and Bugweri districts respectively. The schemes are under the project dubbed “Enhancing National Food security through Increased Rice Production”. The project, which was inaugurated in 2018, also aims to increase household incomes, increasing exports, value addition and availability of water for agricultural production.
“It is our commitment to enable all households, especially the rural smallholder farmers, earn a living from a combination of agricultural and other economic enterprises. I urge the district leaders of Bugiri and Bugweri to support this project,” he said. He met various rice farming stakeholders in the two districts and later held a consultative meeting to interest political and technical teams in the region into supporting the project.
In the two-and-a-half years since its launch, the project has focused on productive rice yields such as Nerica 4, which government prioritized in the Sector Strategic Plan to meet farmers’ needs since they are drought-tolerant and disease-resistant. Added to the fact that rice has long shelf life of three to six months under low use of technologies, farmers in the two districts have seen an increased demand for their rice countrywide.
The Enhancing National Food security through Increased Rice Production project was birthed with support from the Islamic Development Bank as well as Pearl Rice Limited, Busowa Traders and Farmers’ Cooperative Society Limited from the private sector.