Dr Sadik Kassim, the NARO Deputy Director General in charge Agricultural Technology Promotion, has urged staff of zonal research institutes (ZARDI) to put to use the various research facilities that continue to be installed.
He said value for money and impact of agricultural research can only be celebrated if such facilities are functional and able to translate into socio-economic development.
Dr Kassim said this on March 17 during the third site meeting for supply and installation works for solar-powered irrigation systems at Ngetta ZARDI in Lira district. The project, which is contracted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), will install solar irrigation systems in seven ZARDIs that include Ngetta, Abi, Bulindi and Nabuin in Karamoja. Others are Rwebitaba in Kabarole, Kamenyamigo in Lwengo under MuZARDI and Ikulwe station in Mayuge under BugiZARDI.
On sustainability, Dr Kassim said the irrigation project is aimed at building resilience for research to work throughout the year. He, therefore, called upon the farm managers and security officers to jealously guard the soon-to-be-commissioned equipment against theft and vandalism.
The project stakeholders were led to the project sites by Dr Laban Turyagyenda, the Ngetta ZARDI director. The sites include a solar water-pumping station, water reservoir and the irrigation pipes installed along acres of land.
Dr Kassim also observed that since Ngetta ZARDI is part of the eco-tourism for the new Lira city, engineers should come up with polices that allow growth of green cities with peri-urban farming as a source of tourist attraction.
He later addressed Ngetta ZARDI staff whom he commended for exhibiting teamwork. He promised to make follow-up on the needs of staff, which include installation of CCTV cameras, equipping laboratories, reliable internet connectivity and conferencing facilities as well as supply of branded visibility materials.