Farmers at Ruvu in Coast Region have said irrigation for cultivation of various food crops in the area could become a lucrative business, but lack of tools is pulling back their feet.
Raphael Mlay, Chairman of Ruvu Horticulture and Dairy Farm (RHDF) told The Guardian at the weekend that the farm presently does not have tools and equipment for a sprinkling system, drip irrigation and electricity supply.
RHDF engages cultivation of maize, eggplant, tomato, okra, green pepper and sweet-peppers that find their way to Dar es Salaam and Morogoro markets.
“We have huge land for cultivation of various crops, but the irrigation system that we normally use is very poor. The tools are in few areas and cannot manage to supply water to all the farms,” he said.
He said this impacts on the poor harvest they get making it hard for them to penetrate already established markets although they have so many customers who prefer their produce.
He said Ruvu Horticulture and Dairy Farm was established in 2007 for livestock keeping and irrigation farming, adding that presently it has 50 farmers depending on a 70-litre-tank for irrigating their farms.
The tank was built within the farming premises 300km away from Ruvu River in 2004 with the support of Food Aid Counterpart Fund, he said.
Even with the tank, he said, the demand is still big for them, he said.
“In order to accomplish our planned project, we are looking for support to the tune of 10m/- from donors so that we can have a modern irrigation system,” he said.
He also expressed thanks to US Ambassador to Tanzania Alfonso E Lenhardt for extending 11.6m/- to them for filtering drinking water for use by the community.
Elaborating on dairy farming project, he said it is not operating any more due to lack of funds.
He said to revive their projects they need at least 500m.