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SMALL-SCALE IRRIGATION AGRICULTURE VITAL TO INCREASED CROP PRODUCTION

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THE Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) observes that increased irrigation agriculture would boost crop production in the country amid fears of climate change effects.

CTPD Trade and Development Researcher Emmanuel Muma said in a statement that the country’s increasing population poses a serious threat to food security thus crop production should be boosted.

He further observed that in recent years agricultural production has had a great deal to cope with climate change adaptations.

“Meteorological conditions and rainfall patterns are simply erratic. Consequently, it is not possible to properly sustain agriculture output without proper water storage facilities, irrigation systems and other correspondent systems of adapted soil and water management,” observed Muma.

He notes that out of a potential 2.75 million hectares of irrigable land, of which 523,000hac or 19 percent is economically viable, only about six percent is irrigated

Mr Muma also calls for a need to increase irrigation budgetary allocations to the agriculture sector to enhance the subsector.

“In most cases, an allocation that goes towards programmes like Farmers Input Support Program (FISP) tends to consume more of the agriculture sector budget than any other programmes leaving little resources to channel towards other important programmes such as irrigation agriculture development,” he said.

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