Contribution of irrigation farming on food security in Milola village, Lindi district, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study examined contribution of irrigation farming on food security. The study was conducted in Milola Village, Lindi District in Tanzania. Data were collected through household and key informant interviews, Focus group discussion, Field observation and documentary review. Qualitative data was content analysed while quantitative data was analysed by using SPSS. Findings from the study showed that, 84% of respondent’s relied on rainfed agriculture which is unsustainable due to climate change impacts such as unpredictable rainfall and drought which affected food security to most of the households. They were economically poor and suffered from food insecurity despite of having a potential land for agriculture. It was further noted that, 10% of farmers practiced rice irrigation agriculture through the help of Agha Khan Foundation. Farmers reported to increase production from 0-4 bags of rice per acre under rainfed farming to 10-12 bags of rice under irrigation farming. Such households which adopted irrigation farming reported to be more food secure than those who depended on rain fed agriculture. Findings further revealed that, the status of food insecurity in the area was alarming especially to those farmers depending on rainfed farming. Observation made revealed that there was unusual low level of household food stocks due to low production as a result of over dependence of rainfed agriculture which was unreliable due to impacts of climate change. Since production was low, rainfed farmers started to experience food shortage few months after harvesting their crops and production did not sustain household to the next harvesting season. Besides the dependence of irregular and unpredictable rainfed agriculture, other factors which affected food security were low income, insufficient agricultural extension services, vermin and diseases which destroyed their crops and reduced crop production. Based on these findings it can therefore be concluded that, respondents who were rain fed dependants were food insecure compared to their counterparts who practiced irrigated farming. The study recommends that, there is a need for the promotion of irrigation agriculture which has more chance to contribute to food security than rainfed agriculture. There is also a need for the provision of adequate and on time agricultural extension services and diversification of income through provision of soft loans to farmers. Farming inputs should be provided on time and sensitization on farmers on proper use of inputs and farm management. It is also recommended that farmers should be capacitated to control vermin and diseases and there should be regular meetings and networking sessions by various stakeholders operating in the study area to share ideas so as to design the way forward altogether for the betterment of the people’s livelihood.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF S616.T34N78)
Irrigation farming, Food Security, Milola village, Lindi district, Tanzania
Ntulo, E. (2015) Contribution of irrigation farming on food security in Milola village, Lindi district, Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam