Dodoma, Tanzania: The Tanzanian government, under the leadership of President Samia Suluhu Hassan, is set to usher in a new era of agricultural transformation with a strong focus on irrigation farming. Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. Mwigulu Nchemba, announced the government’s resolute commitment to bolstering irrigation agriculture during his address on the estimates of revenue and expenditure for the Ministry of Agriculture in the upcoming 2023/24 fiscal year.
Driven by President Hassan’s unwavering determination, the government has allocated substantial funds to implement ambitious irrigation projects nationwide. Dr. Nchemba assured parliament that these funds mark just the beginning, with future phases and budgets planned for additional large-scale irrigation initiatives in line with policy directives.
Highlighting the government’s approach to project implementation, Dr. Nchemba emphasized the step-by-step disbursement of funds, ensuring prudent financial management. This strategic disbursement allows for comprehensive project monitoring and evaluation, promoting efficient resource utilization.
The Tanzanian government’s commitment to irrigation agriculture extends beyond financial support. Dr. Nchemba underlined their plans to strengthen the Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) as a key engine for realizing President Hassan’s vision of transforming agriculture into a thriving business sector. The TADB will play a pivotal role in facilitating access to financing and providing tailored support to farmers and agribusinesses.
Recognizing the importance of land allocation for agricultural development, Minister of Lands, Housing, and Human Settlements Development, Dr. Angeline Mabula, disclosed that over two million hectares have been specifically designated for agricultural purposes. This meticulous land use planning will ensure optimal utilization of available resources and enable sustainable agricultural practices across the country.
To further boost irrigation farming, the government has embarked on an extensive initiative involving feasibility studies and detailed designs for 22 valleys, encompassing more than 300,000 hectares. These studies will lay the foundation for the creation of efficient and modern irrigation systems, empowering farmers and enhancing agricultural productivity.
Already making significant strides, the Ministry of Agriculture achieved remarkable milestones in the previous fiscal year. The construction of 14 reservoirs, with a combined capacity of 131 billion liters, has provided critical water storage infrastructure for irrigation purposes. Building upon this success, the ministry has ambitious plans for the future, aiming to construct 100 additional reservoirs with a capacity of 900 billion liters. Additionally, 150 boreholes will be drilled across 184 local authorities, further bolstering access to water resources for agricultural activities.