Ngetta Zonal Agricultural Research Development Institute (ZARDI) have been accused
of vandalizing the multi-billion irrigation scheme.
The 2.1 Billion Shillings solar-powered irrigation system was established on a
12-acre piece by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries
under the Agricultural Cluster Development Project.
It was meant to among other things facilitate various research projects being
conducted at the institute, facilitate the production of high-value crop seeds
and pasture for feeding animals at the farm as well as for farmers surrounding
the institute. It is also being used to
train farmers on simple micro-irrigation to farmers.
However, unknown people believed to be part of the community surrounding the
institute have vandalized the plant. Only 68 out of the 300 sprinklers that
were established are functional.
Dr Laban Frank Turyagenda, the Director of Research at the institute says that
the chain link surrounding the fish pond was also destroyed by unknown people.
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Turyagenda, says that the Institution is now seeking the intervention of
security personnel to protect the facility from destruction.
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Okello, the LCI Chairperson of Okii-oyere village saying cases of vandalism
have been reported to his office. According to Okello,
three months ago, he arrested residents who were found in possession of the
institute’s equipment and handed them to police.
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Obira, a resident says that he has benefited a lot from Ngetta ZARDI, He
advised the community surrounding the institute to make the best use of the facility. The
Institute is mandated to monitor, supervise and coordinate agricultural
research on disease and new technologies within 15 districts in Lango and
ZARDI, which is under the guidance of the National Agricultural Research
Organization (NARO) conducts research and technology dissemination in
livestock, crop, fisheries, forestry and linking production to market in the
districts they cover.