Tanzania: How Irrigation System Could Boost Rice Farming

Mara — RORYA District Council in Mara Region is working towards increasing irrigation farming from 180 hectares this year to 2179 by 2015.  Only 2% of the available 8,750 hectares suitable for irrigation farming  is currently being utilized.

Irrigation farming ~ Image Google

Rorya, with its close proximity to the Mara River and Lake Victoria on its shores,  is yet to utilize the water to boost food and cash crop production through irrigation farming.  Instead bad weather is commonly cited as the major cause of underproduction. The government has provided over 1000 tonnes of food to rescue close to 185,000 people from acute hunger, over the past few days, according to figures available to the District Council Executive Director (DED).

Construction of Irienyi Dam is one of the measures taken by Rorya District Council to encourage irrigation farming with the aim of improving food security and boosting the  incomes of small peasants in the area.

Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda visited the dam during his long week of Mara region a few days ago and urged Irienyi villagers to utilize it fully for their own development. “I believe that you will be able to harvest 30 to 40 sacks(bags) of rice from every hectare if you practice modern farming methods,” Mr Pinda told hundreds of villagers shortly after inspecting the dam.

A group of about 150 small peasants have started cultivating rice with the help of the dam which has been constructed by Nyakirang’ani Construction Ltd , a Mara leading construction firm based in Musoma. “We have already cultivated rice in 81 hectares and we want to end hunger that has always been disturbing us, although we need machines to process rice in order to increase its value”, the group secretary Ms Esther Marwa said in her brief report to the Prime Minister.  Link to full article…

Source – AllAfrica.com – Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)