Uganda is experiencing climate change and variability, which has resulted increased frequency of droughts and long dry spells. Many farmers in the country rely on rainfed agriculture therefore the changing rainfall patterns has negatively affected food production as well as the food security and livelihoods of many smallholder farmers. This has compelled Government of Uganda to design interventions that support farmers to access sustainable irrigation systems including solar powered irrigation systems. GGGI is partnering with GoU to support the efforts aimed at increasing climate resilience for the Ugandan farmers through use of Solar Powered Irrigation Systems. In this regard, GGGI is implementing a 2-year project “Promoting Solar Powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS)” in Uganda with the aim of increasing farmer’s access to solar powered irrigation systems, hence increasing agricultural productivity and building resilience to the effects of climate change.
One of the expected outcomes of this project is strengthened national capacity to promote, design, finance and implement SPIS in the country through technical training and capacity building for various stakeholders. These include suppliers and distributors of SPIS, government officials, financial institutions and farmers.
In January 2022, GGGI in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and the Uganda Solar Energy Association (USEA)organized a 5-day comprehensive technical training of technicians from solar irrigation equipment suppliers and distributers. The training focused on planning, design, installation, and technical operation & maintenance of SPIS. The training content was based on a needs assessment which was conducted prior to the training. Unreliable and poor after-sales services was one of the areas which was identified in the assessment. This training attracted 48 technicians (44 male & 4 females) from 16 companies that supply solar powered irrigation equipment in Uganda. This was a practical and hands on training through which the trainees gained improved knowledge and skills is various tenets of SPIS operations.
With this improved knowledge and skills, the technicians will be in position to effectively serve and provide better SPIS solutions to the farmers hence restoring their confidence in SPIS. In particular, the training will strengthen the farmers’ access to high quality and readily available after-sales services for SPIS equipment in last mile areas. This will trigger increased adoption of SPIS by farmers and become more resilient to climate change. At the closure of the training, Ms. Dagmar Zwebe, the Country Representative for GGGI thanked the trainees for dedicating their full time for this training. She also gave recognized the importance of gender inclusion in technical aspects of agriculture and specially recognized the female trainees and encouraged them to keep up the spirit. She reiterated GGGI’s commitment to support government, private sector, and other stakeholders to develop interventions for climate action. GGGI will deliver additional technical trainings to staff of financial institutions and district agriculture engineers, all with the aim of deepening the adoption and utilization of solar powered irrigation systems as a means of building resilience in agricultural production in the face of climate change.