NIRC widens irrigation area by 32,000 hectares in Kilimanjaro region

30Jul 2020
By Guardian Reporter
Moshi
The Guardian
NIRC widens irrigation area by 32,000 hectares in Kilimanjaro region

​​​​​​​THE National Irrigation Commission (NIRC) has widened its irrigation area in Kilimanjaro region from 53,000 to 85,000 hectares to open up opportunities in commercial farming.

Before the increase, including evaluation and survey the Mawala Scheme in Moshi Rural District in Kilimanjaro Region had 23,000 hectares under irrigation.

Talking on the decision, Irrigation Engineer from Kilimanjaro Region, Said Ibrahim explained that the survey for the expansion of the Mawala Scheme will enable farmers in the area to cultivate more than 4,500 hectares.

He said as of now Ibrahim said they aim to provide training to farmers and in their strategy for 2020/2025, NIRC has planned to train 10,000 farmers in Kilimanjaro Region on the importance of irrigation farming in various schemes as well as private individuals.

He said Kilimanjaro Region received from the government more than 3.5bn/- for irrigation development in the region.

He stressed: “As of now our dream in NIRC is to ensure farmers stand together when we decide on an issue, then as farmers they should be able to make huge strides.”

The national irrigation commission established by an Act of Parliament (Act No 4 of 2013 and its 2015 Regulations was given the responsibility to supervise irrigation schemes in the region and to ensure the aims set in accordance with the law and regulations thereof are implemented.

Last year, Deputy Minister for Agriculture Omary Mgumba told the National Assembly that the government has modified structures of the National Irrigation Commission (NIRC) from July 2019 to enhance irrigation services at district and regional level.

The improvements according to Mgumba were to ensure every district and region across Tanzania mainland have an irrigation officer from NIRC.

NIRC budget for the 2019/2020 financial year amounted to 37.48bn/- out of the total ministry’s budget which is 253.85bn/-.

NIRC is charged with coordination, promotion and regulatory functions in the development of the irrigation sector. It has developed comprehensive guidelines to manage irrigation schemes countrywide.

The commission, among other things promotes integrated water resources management for increased and sustainable agricultural production, productivity, ensuring food security, poverty reduction and national economic development in the country.