Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi has reassured farmers across the country that every fiscal year, money will be put aside to construct more valley dams to enhance irrigation as part of measures to cope with drought. Murekezi made the remarks during the monthly ‘Umuganda’ community work in Muhanga district where 100 hectares of marshlands were irrigated using high-pressure diesel water pumps on Saturday.
The Premier’s reassurance is good news for farmers who are grappling with drought. With the current unpredictable weather patterns and climate change, reliance on conventional rain is not sustainable. Farming cannot flourish without irrigation and ensuring that the agriculture sector can withstand climate change effects. The government initiative to prioritize irrigation should be supported by all stake holders in the sector.
To mitigate effects of drought and boost productivity, farmers should embrace modern irrigation technology as sustainable solution. This will shield farmers from making losses when drought sets in, and it will also help farmers to increase output in terms of quality and quantity.
Many farmers still irrigate their crops manually with watering cans, buckets and other domestic utensils but they need to embrace the latest irrigation technology . A the shortage of rain persists, use of rudimentary technology like using watering cans to water crops is not sustainable. That is why farmers should take advantage of government efforts to increase funding to boost irrigation. This challenge is a lesson to all farmers across the country that to survive as a farmer use of irrigation is a must.
Although irrigation technology is costly, if all farmers join cooperatives, they can be able to collectively mobilize funds or seek for credit from financial institutions.
Also, local leaders should play a key role in mobilizing farmers to ensure that they use irrigation technology. This will go a long way in transforming the agriculture sector.