Socio-economic impacts of irrigated agriculture in Mbarali District of south-west Tanzania
Physics and Chemistry of the Earth
Department of Geography, University of Dar es Salaam, P.O. Box 35049, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Irrigation has been found to be central in curbing food scarcity not only in Tanzania but also in many other developing countries. It has been proved that continued reliability on rainfall in agriculture cannot sustain the increase in population. This study examines the impacts of smallholder irrigated agriculture in improving social and economic benefits in Igurusi Ward of Mbarali District which is located in the southern-western part of Tanzania. The study applies the Participatory Rural Appraisal Framework for data collection. The study was confined to five villages in Igurusi ward which are Majenje, Igurusi, Chamoto, Uhambule and Mahango. The study examined critically paddy production for smallholder farmers that practice irrigation and those who cultivates rain-fed paddy. The study examined both existing traditional and modern irrigation systems. It was found that, most of the respondents (79%) practice irrigated agriculture in paddy production while the remaining 21% practice rain-fed agriculture. Forty percent of households that practice irrigated agriculture harvest paddy two seasons per year. The return to labour in paddy production for smallholder farmers who irrigate their paddy fields is about US $ 2.5/manday which is above the poverty line of US $ 1.0/day. The smallest return to labour (US $ 0.85/manday) is obtained by an average smallholder farmer who cultivates rain-fed paddy using hand hoe and family labour. The potential implication of the current irrigation systems is that if irrigation is managed properly it may lead to sustainable increases in small farmer's productivity and income, thus alleviating rural poverty. © 2006.
Developing countries; Economic and social effects; Information science; Reliability; Gross margins; Irrigated agriculture; Poverty alleviation; Socio-economic benefits; Irrigation; agriculture; irrigation; paddy farming; poverty alleviation; smallholder; socioeconomic impact; Africa; East Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; Tanzania