The initiative is implemented by ‘Jenga Afya Tokomeza Umasikini’ (JATU) - a local company focusing on assisting farmers to move from rain-fed agriculture to irrigation.
Speaking to reporters over the weekend in Dar es Salaam, firm’s general manager, Mohamed Simbano said the initiative is designed to help farmers cultivate maize three times a year, rather than in one season they use to do.
He said: “We’re currently finalising the construction of water wells in the district which will be used for irrigation in the farm to enable farmers increases and improve the quality of their crops in order to be competitive in the market.”
“We will also try to motivate other farmers to shift to modern farming which gives them more benefits including management of the farm and have direct access to loans,” he explained.
“We are eager to influence changes in the agricultural activities in Kiteto district for the benefit of all farmers and the public in general,” said the manager.
Simbano added that the project scheduled to be executed in three phases in a year, will commence next year by beginning with 500 ha of farm as a pilot and will add more farms.
“We have decided to influence changes in the environment of Kiteto district in Manyara region to make it a blessed region for agriculture sector and the resident surrounding the area,” he said.
One of members of the company, Asifiwe Mwakagenda applauded the initiative, saying it will enable farmers to expand the scope of production and stop relying on rain.
“I have decided to invest my time in farming due to the assistance I got from the company that helps me to access farms, to cultivate, to plant, to harvest and to seek for markets of our produce,” he said.
“Currently, farmers are practicing unpredictable agriculture that depends much on rain, still we have not yet started working on irrigation farming, but we are in the process,” he explained.
According to him, farmers are now able to obtain 30 sacks of maize and sunflowers, but through the irrigation scheme we hope to get more crops from three seasons that we will be planting.
“I am optimistic that when we will start practicing irrigation farming we will be in a good position to obtain more produce than the amount we are getting now,” he explained.
He believe that if farming activities will be implemented by means of irrigation, there could be more production that will enhance commercialization of the production.