Friday, June 21, 2013

New irrigation schemes will boost rice production in Korogwe – Says minister

Deputy minister in the Vice-President's Office (Environment),Charles Kitwanga.

Small-scale rice growers in Mafuleta village, Korogwe District of Tanga Region will soon start enjoying the benefit of having irrigation facility in the area of about 700 ha.
“Construction of Mafuleta Irrigation Scheme is on final touches and will be handed-over to wananchi in October, this year,” deputy minister in the Vice-President's Office (Environment) Charles Kitwanga said.
Kitwanga made the remarks here yesterday when responding to questions in the National Assembly on behalf of Prof Jumanne Maghembe, Minister for Water.
The deputy minister described Mafuleta Irrigation Scheme as important towards the boosting of crop production in the area.
He said right now, only 300 ha are under irrigation. “So, by building this irrigation facility, farmers will be able to cultivate about 700 ha. And if all these ha are farmed, people’s livelihoods in the area will be improved.”
The minister disclosed that the government through Participatory Agricultural Development and Empowerment Project (PADEP), allocated 35m/- for building part of the main canal of about 450 meters in 2007/2008.
In 2012/2013 fiscal year, he said, Korogwe District Council through the District Agricultural Development Plans (DADPs) allocated 203m/- to complete the project. “Out of 180m/- will be used to survey the scheme as well as building permanent intake of the irrigation facility, while 23m/- has been allocated for buying modern rice milling machines in an effort to add value to the crop,” Kitwanga told the House.
Over 450 households have been doing rice farming in the area using the traditional-made irrigation facility.
The minister also attested that construction process on another Mswaha-Darajani Irrigation Scheme is underway and is scheduled to be completed in August this year.
Upon its completion the project, which is close to the Mafuleta scheme, is expected to consume 46m/-. The project is been financed by PADEP and the district council.
The minister was responding to a question by Stephen Ngonyani, (Korogwe Rural, CCM), who wanted to know the timeframe for completion of the two irrigation schemes in the district.

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