Plans are underway to improve infrastructures of Mandaka Mnono and Kaloleni irrigation schemes of about 614 hectares of arable land in Kilimanjaro region.
Agriculture, Food and Cooperatives deputy minister, Adam Malima disclosed this in Dodoma yesterday adding that the move is also set to increase volume of water in the Lower Moshi Irrigation Scheme, of 2300 hectares of land.
Malima revealed this responding to a question from Betty Machangu (Special Seats, CCM), who wanted to know the government’s plan to come up with an alternative way to increase water in the lower Moshi irrigation scheme, which is a very productive area in the region.
The minister explained that Lower Moshi was constructed in 1987, by the Japanese government through soft loans, whereby irrigation infrastructures were constructed in about 1,100 hectares of land fit for rice farming.
“1,200 hectares of land were allocated for other cereal crops like maize. In these hectares, no irrigation infrastructures were built in that area,” Malima said.
He noted that the government through the Pangani Basin Water Board (PBWB) allowed water from Kikuletwa River to be used in Lower Moshi scheme at 3.71 cubic meters per second for the entire 2,300 hectares.
In 1995, Tanzania and Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) conducted a feasibility study on the project and recommended an increase of 9 cubic meters per second, during rainy seasons and 5 cubic metres per second during dry season from Kikuletwa River so as to expand the scheme to about 4,700 hectares at a cost of 61.7bn/-.
He however said that the volume of water in Kikuletwa River is what made the Japanese government to pull out of the project.
Malima also said that there are plans to drill deep eight boreholes in Oria and Chekereni villages, whereby 100 hectares will be irrigated.
“Two boreholes have been drilled already and have proved to have water. We also plan to construct dams to collect rain water for irrigation purposes,” he said.