TANZANIA: Improved irrigation infrastructure boosts crops’ production in Mbeya


Improvement of irrigation infrastructure in Mbeya Region has increased the area of irrigated land from 49,117 hectares in 2018 to 71,890 hectares this year, thanks to the initiative made by the government through the National Irrigation Commission (NIRC) . …A senior agricultural officer from NIRC, Mnadi Taribo said that the commission has been providing training on new methods of rice farming called ‘system of rice intensification (SRI)’. According to him, the new system of rice farming doubles rice production per acre, citing Madibira scheme as one example whereby through SRI production has increased to 9.3 tonnes per hectare, from 7.2 tonnes per hectare (traditional farming). In Uturo scheme, the SRI method increased production to 13 tonnes per hectare from 5.7 tonnes (traditional farming). Taribo further explained that SRI methods help increase yields by over 30 percent while using 40 percent less water than conventional methods.