26 June 2014

Tanzania: New Nationwide Irrigation Schemes in the Offing

Dodoma — The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Mr Godfrey Zambi.

THE government has reaffirmed its commitment to increasing irrigation schemes with 78 schemes already in the offing.

The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Mr Godfrey Zambi told the National Assembly that meagre budget has been a major setback, but pointed out that efforts will be made to realise set plans.

He was responding to a question by Mr David Kafulila (Kigoma South-NCCR-Mageuzi), who wanted to know the government plans in exploring the 29.4 million hectares of land potential for irrigation schemes.

Mr Zambi responded saying that there are 78 irrigation schemes in the offing but the ministry needed over 400bn/- for their implementation.

He noted that only 80bn/- has been put aside to that effect, adding that the government will collaborate with district councils through District Agriculture Development Plans (DADPs) in establishing irrigation schemes at district levels.

"We in the ministry would like to see all these projects being implemented in a very short period of time but priorities is what matters, the government has many areas to develop and the budget is not enough," he said.

In another development, Mr Zambi said that the government will rehabilitate the Lower Moshi Irrigation Scheme to enable irrigation on 300 hectares of farmland.

"We want to restore two wells to irrigate 300 hectares and later on we will construct two dams to put all the 2,300 hectares at Lower Moshi Irrigation Scheme in use," he said.

He was responding to a question by Ms Betty Machangu (Special Seats-CCM) who wanted to know government plans in restoring the scheme which deals with paddy farms.

Agriculture is the backbone of Tanzanias economy.It accounts for more than one quarter of GDP, provides 85 per cent of exports and employs about 80 per cent of the workforce.

The country has 29.4 million hectares of land that could be irrigated, of which only 589,245 are currently under irrigation.

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