NGOMA - Ngoma District officials have called upon the Ministry of Agriculture to assist in the establishment of a highland irrigation system.
Speaking at a meeting that brought together farmers, district and Ministry of Agriculture officials, Mayor Francois Niyotwagira, said that without the system, the highlands would remain unproductive, yet they constitute the largest chunk of land in the district.
The Mayor said that the district requested the ministry to design a project that would facilitate irrigation on highlands, adding that rain is unreliable.
“The rainfall is irregular and unpredictable. For us to maximise crop production, we need to irrigate highlands...it will, of course, require special equipment. We have made our request known and hopefully it will work,” he said.
Gilbert Rutayisire, the district Agricultural Officer, said that crop production in non-irrigated highlands was totally dependent on rainfall.
“Our highlands form the biggest part of the non-cultivatable land. Water resources are extremely limited...there is need for permanent sources of water for irrigation,” he said.
Ngoma District has started planting maize on 1,495 hectares of land, under the crop intensification program.