Assessment of contribution of Ngapa farming to community livelihoods in Ulanga district: a case of lupiro ward

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University of Dar es Salaam
Rain-fed agriculture in rural areas of Tanzania is facing some risks including low and declining soil fertility and drought. This state leads to low crop productivity resulting to food and income insecurities. In order to supplement rainfed agriculture, communities of Lupiro village in Ulanga district have been practising traditional irrigation known as “ngapa” which is not well documented. This study examined the contribution of both rain-fed and “ngapa” to community livelihoods in Lupiro and Nakafulu villages. Secondary data were obtained through literature review and primary data were collected through key informant interviews, FGDs, observation and household questionnaires administered to 10% of households in each village. SPSS version 16.0 was used to encode and analyse the data. Results show that “ngapa” is practiced in flood plains during the dry season and some farmers cultivate their plots up to three times a year. This type of farming contributes significantly to households’ food and income securities. This study identified various agricultural stakeholders and their roles towards sustainability of “ngapa” irrigated farming. Among other issues identified to reduce productivity under ngapa is construction of poor furrows for water intake resulting into water loss. The study recommends that the local government should assist farmers to upgrade the ngapa traditional irrigation scheme through construction of modern irrigation infrastructures such as permanent intake, weirs and cement linings to increase water use efficiency. Agricultural extension sector should promote suitable agronomic packages such as control of pests, insects, diseases and, use of fertilisers and herbicides. Finally, efficient cropping methods need to be enhanced for maximum productivity of “ngapa”.
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Irrigation farming, Ngapa farming system, Lupiro ward, Liverpool, Ulanga district, Tanzania
Joseph, C (2011) Assessment of contribution of Ngapa farming to community livelihoods in Ulanga district: a case of lupiro ward. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at