In his efforts to boost agricultural productivity, President Yoweri Museveni has asked farmers to embrace mulching so as to enhance soil fertility and mitigate effects of drought on crops.
According to Museveni, once a farmer practice mulching, he or she stops sunshine from hitting soils directly, which enable plants to survive longer during drought. He also explains that mulching also helps a farmer to stop soil erosion, which may carry away fertile soils and young plants at the onset of rains.
Museveni said this with practical demonstrations of mulching at Kawumu State lodge in Luweero on Monday evening. He collected grass on a bicycle, saying this doesn’t require farmers to incur additional costs.
He also showed journalists the crops he planted in December last year, saying they had survived on drip irrigation throughout drought despite criticisms from many Ugandans. According to Museveni, drip irrigation is easy to practice but many Ugandans are lazy.
Museveni explained that he used Shillings 2 million to buy the banana plants, Shillings 1.3 million coffee seedlings and Shillings 500,000 for the pineapple, which is affordable for most farmers.
Despite the president’s input, farmers in Luweero are yet to embrace drip irrigation citing long distances from water sources. Others describe drip irrigation as primitive and ask government to invest in irrigation schemes, which can pump and supply water over large areas.
But Museveni insists that farmers should start with drip irrigation, which affordable and accessible to all. Luweero district with support from Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has so far constructed two valley dams in Zirobwe Sub County.
The solar powered dams will be used as a demonstration to promote irrigation. The dams will be used harvest water during the rainy season for use during drought.
Today, Museveni is expected to visit several farmers under the Operation Wealth Creation to ascertain the extent of its performance in Luweero district.
– Uganda Radio Network