By Our Reporters
Teddy Acan Oyet is the Chairperson of the Akworo Small Scale Irrigation Scheme in Labongo Amida Sub-county ,Chua West Count , Kitgum district in northern Uganda where they undertake community farming on a 10 and half acre piece of land.
The over 150 farmers mainly women that Acan Oyet leads specialize in maize and cassava farming which they sell to raise money to cater for their immediate needs including school fees for their children .
But for Acan Oyet and her fellow community farmers they still face some crippling production challenges that hinder their growth. The irrigation pipes at their farm have since broken down and they cannot irrigate their crops during the long dry season.
Although there is water catchment area near their farm , these smallholder farmers like Acan Oyet don’t have the means to pump water for irrigation purposes. “ The pipes which were installed for irrigation are old and not working .Sometimes we end up carrying the water on bicycles which is tedious for our farm work ,” she explains.
And when the problem at hand is not irrigation, it is the inability to reach the market in time due to lack of adequate transport.
This is why , Teddy Acan Oyet and her fellow farmers got very excited when they heard that a new product ,the Bingwa three wheeler trike produced by Kevoton Motions Engineering Ltd, a company of young people led by Rogers Mubiru, is not your conventional tuk-tuk vehicle meant to transport only goods or people.
This Ugandan Bigwa three wheeler trike innovation has an engine also developed locally by Kevoton Motions Engineering Ltd that enables it to not only transport 1,000kg of goods but pump 6,000 litres of water per hour for irrigation and generate 6KW of electricity every hour, thereby solving some of the farmers and rural households’ most immediate challenges.
During a practical demonstration of the Bingwa trike’s capabilities, at Akworo small scale irrigation scheme , the farmers were not disappointed when it irrigated their crops for over one hour .
“ This innovation could not have come at a better time when we are faced with challenges of pumping water for irrigating our farms. We need this Bingwa trike for irrigation but most of our local farmers cannot afford it . We call upon government to buy these trikes and distribute them to our farmers for irrigation purposes , transport and electricity generation for our homes,” Acan Oyet said.
Mr.Komakech Geoffrey Alulu, the LCIII Chairman of Labongo Amida sub county said that the Bingwa Trike was an independence day gift for the people of Kitgum if government can scale up production and distribute them to support farmers especially now when the Parish Development Model (PDM) is being implemented.
“This Ugandan innovation provides a quick and easy solution for the farmers and it wont be very expensive for government to scale up production and distribute these multi-purpose vehicles for use by farmers,” Alulu stated.
The Bingwa trike will cost Shs28 million, lower than what one would spend if they were to buy an ordinary tuk-tuk, water pump, and a power generator. The Bingwa Trike uses diesel.
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