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United Republic of Tanzania

Prospects for agricultural water management

The 2006 Agriculture Sector Development Strategy has set a target of irrigating about one million hectares by 2016, but data from the 2006-2013 period shows that this target will definitely not be achieved on time (MAFSC, 2013; NBS, 2015). The more realistic target of 405 400 ha equipped for irrigation by 2017, set by the 2002 National Irrigation Master Plan (NIMP), is still limited by the financial capacities available but is not impossible, especially with regards to ongoing projects such as the Rice Centre of Excellence in Eastern Africa, for which around 20 000 ha are to be equipped for irrigation, and the Kilangali Seed Farm project, with irrigated agriculture on about 100 000 ha. The irrigation development rate increases in the last years, with the 2011-2016 target of an additional 40 000 ha hectares under small-scale improved irrigation infrastructures almost completed through the construction of small scale dams in particular (MAFSC, 2014). The abundant sources of water, co-existence of several agro-ecological zones and the almost unexploited 2.3 million ha irrigation potential still permits tremendous irrigation expansion and diversification in crop production that could contribute significantly to stabilizing agricultural production and increasing income. Only access to both water and land locally and for some vulnerable groups may be a binding constraint in some cases.


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