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Monday 22 February, 2010

Like the chicken and the egg question, govt and intellectuals dispute the position of research in Kilimo Kwanza:

The Guardian KILIMO KWANZA 2

Monday 22 February, 2010



State of Mechanisation of Agriculture in Tanzania A recent study of the state of mechanisation of Tanzania’s agriculture by Sokoine University found that the pace of automation needs to be stepped up if it is to match the rate at which labour supply is declining in the rural areas.


What does it take to make irrigation a reality?

Intellectual and politicians should share same vision


mandated to foster the development of the country while the university, established by the government, must initiate and conduct basic and applied research in the fields of land use, crop and livestock production, fisheries, natural resources and allied sciences, mechanical arts and technology. The university must also promote the integration of the research with training and agricultural extension services. This is according to its stated mission. It is therefore encouraging that Deputy Agriculture Minister David Mathayo has vowed not to fight the professors as they vigorously air their reservations on Kilimo Kwanza. But not fighting the professors is not enough. The minister must reach out and engage them further, so that the two institutions see eye to eye as far as the strategy to develop agriculture in the country is concerned. Currently SUA has nearly 200 researchers trained at PhD level in all fields of agriculture, forestry and veterinary medicine. The university also has many students pursuing a host of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, all of whom are usable in research activities.

Furthermore, it has many collaboration arrangements with other research institutions in and outside the country. It would therefore be recklessly wasteful for such a huge national asset not to be on board the Kilimo Kwanza ship. SUA has amassed immeasurable capital in the form of networks with institutions in many countries, and is thus a major reservoir of agricultural knowledge and technical skills. All these are the property of the people of Tanzania. The government and the university have a duty to ensure these technical assets are harnessed for the benefit of the country. Disagreements over approaches will always be there but avoiding or ignoring each other is not in the interest of the people of Tanzania. They deserve a mature cooperation between their government and their university.

Wallace Mauggo Editor


State of Agro-mech in Tanzania


here is a divergence of views on the approach to achieving the desired modernisation of agriculture, between policy makers for the Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives ministry and experts from the top national agricultural institution, the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA). The university people think it was ill advised to launch the Kilimo Kwanza strategy before comprehensive research was done. But the political leaders say Kilimo Kwanza is neither new nor is it a project or programme that required specific research; rather, it is a continuation of old and existing programmes. Fortunately, both parties agree that there is urgent need to catalyse agricultural development if a meaningful change is to be accomplished in the shortest time possible. It is important to remember that the university and the government are essentially on the same side, and need not take on adversarial positions. The government is elected and


Monday 22 February, 2010

Water from the surface sources may be used for several developments including domestic water supply, hydropower production, irrigated agriculture, industries, fisheries, livestock, and flood control


Ruvuma shines Although the national irrigation efforts have attracted a lot of criticism, there is a silver lining in the whole depressing cloud.This is in Ruvuma, where impressive results have been achieved as a result of sustained efforts invested in irrigation.


United States backs agricultural development in Tanzania The new US Ambassador to Tanzania Alfonso E. Lenhardt talks to The Guardian’s Kilimo Kwanza about his country’s role in Tanzania’s Agricultural Development.

A recent study of the state of mechanisation of Tanzania’s agriculture by Sokoine University found that the pace of automation needs to be stepped up if it is to match the rate at which labour supply is declining in the rural areas. Below is an extract by Angel Navuri from the study report:


echanization promotes the human physical capacity, leading to increased acreage and crop productivity as a result of timely planting, weeding, post harvesting handling and accessibility to markets. It also reduces drudgery, making agriculture an attractive enterprise, especially for young people. Mechanization is becoming increasingly important in addressing the shortage of farm power in rural areas as a result of declining agricultural labour force, which is growing at only 2.8% compared to the overall growth rate of the total labour of 3.1 %, because of rural to urban migration, nonfarm employment opportunities and the HIV/AIDS and malaria pandemics. Although it is important, the level of mechanization in Tanzania is still low and the farming systems are still dominated by hand hoe. The use of animal traction and mechanical power is still limited. While there are over 14 million hand hoes in use, the number of oxen and animal drawn ploughs is approximately 1.2 million and 570,000, respectively. There are also about 9,500 tractors that are operational and another 6,000 that are broken down. It is estimated that the country needs more than 30,000 animal drawn ploughs and 1800 tractors annually in order to cater for power needs for agricultural growth, but on average, the number of ploughs has been increasing at an average rate of 20,000 units per year while 200 to 300 tractors are imported annually. The figures are small indeed. Generally, the development of mechanization in the country has been slow because of several factors. The factors include high costs of agricultural machinery, low purchasing power of most small scale farmers, of which low producer prices is among the contributing factors, lack of agricultural credit, and lack of machinery package suitable for the conditions of small scale farm operations. These constraints have not been adequately addressed in the past. In addition, earlier attempts of promoting draught animal power have varied mainly due to lack of resources and lack of suitable animals in some areas. In these areas where the practice was successfully adopted major improvements in agricultural production have been registered. To promote higher levels of farm mechanization the government will need to undertake the following: Reviving the oxenisation training centres (OTCs) The government through LGAs should rehabilitate the OTCs and revive the training programmes which were earlier conducted in almost every

14,000,000 hand hoes currently in use 9,500 tractors operational countrywide 6,500 tractors idle and broken down 30,000 animal drawn ploughs needed annually 18,000 tractors needed per year 200 - 300 tractors imported annually


district. This should go hand in hand with a long term breeding and distribution of donkeys for areas where there are no cattle, or the terrain is

such that oxen would not be suitable. Joint research development (R&D) to develop appropriate machinery Tanzania, in collaboration with

other African countries such as under SADC and NEPAD should embark on R&D programme to develop affordable machinery suited to African smallhold-

er agriculture and for different power sources. Courtesy: Sokoine University of Agriculture

The Guardian KILIMO KWANZA 4

Monday 22 February, 2010

Monday 22 February, 2010





SCIENCE vs POLITICS? For six months, the agriculture gurus at Sokoine University have been watching the implementation of Kilimo Kwanza since the initiative was launched by President Jakaya Kikwete early August last year. The Sokoine dons had been consulted before the launch of Kilimo Kwanza. Last week, several of them decided to share their assessment with The Guradian’s Angel Navuri, and in the end, their head of department for Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Prof Emmanuel Mbiha summed up their views and articulated them in an interview.


hile the Sokoine dons agree that it was right to give agriculture top priority, they are unhappy that Kilimo Kwanza was launched without, in their view, adequate research. And this is where there is a sharp and fundamental divergence in the interpretation of Kilimo Kwanza between the professors and the government. For according to the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mr David Mathayo, there was no need for research before the launch of Kilimo Kwanza. And he has reasons. Mr Mathayo, on being briefed about the views of the Sokoine dons, clarified the government position to The Guardian thus: “Kilimo Kwanza is

neither a project nor a programme, it is just a continuation of what we have all along been doing to develop agriculture. There was therefore nothing to research about. Government already knows what it needs to know about irrigation, tractors, fertilisers. So research for what? There was nothing new here. Kilimo Kwanza is operating under the same old policies of the Agriculture Sector Development Programe and others before it.” The minister made it clear that the views of the agriculture professors on Kilimo Kwanza were not urgently required, because the government knew very well what needs to be done. “People can interprete Kilimo Kwanza any they wish, so long as government knows what it is all about,” he said. Kilimo Kwanza is a public / private sector partnership under which the private sector is expected to play a leading role in increasing agricultural productivity, food security, agro industry and agribusiness among others in Tanzania. “We shall not argue with the experts because they presented their paper and their views are already known,” he concluded firmly. It transpires that Sokoine University of Agriculture was contracted to make a study for the government by the Tanzania National Business Council before Kilimo Kwanza was launched. The university in turn coopted Bureau of Agricultural Consultancy and Advisory Services (BACAS) to do the study and compile the report. It appears that their report was not at all used in preparing the Kilimo Kwanza strategy, partly explaining why the dons believe the strategy is not based on research. Said Prof Mbiha: “The government should understand that it is healthy to be criticized especially when it could going in the wrong direction. The truth is that since independence agriculture in this country has not improved because research has not been applied. You cannot improve agriculture if proper research hasn’t been done. And this makes every thing about it wrong.” “The idea of Kilimo Kwanza is very good but exactly what is done under Kilimo Kwanza and how it is done is the issue,” the professor went on. “Basically, there has been a number of initiatives for improving agriculture that the government has been talking about. But its considerations have been more on the political rather than scientific side. But when you come down to earth and think about it, the problem has always been the implementation and not the policies. And that’s the most difficult area.” The issue, according to the professor, is lack of research based knowledge to make implementation of policies possible. Mbiha then cites the example of India where proper implementation of policies saw tangible re-

Head of Department for Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Prof Emmanuel Mbiha

Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mr David Mathayo

sults throughout the sector, from the market, infrastructure and mechanization. Everyone plays their role well to increase agriculture production. India has thus undergone a series of successful agricultural revolutions starting with the ‘green’ revolution in wheat and rice in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the ‘white’ revolution in milk to the ‘yellow’ revolution in oilseeds in 1980’s. As a result, that country has achieved self-sufficiency in agriculture. Like Tanzania, India is geographically widely distributed into several agro-climatic zones, and the information need for the farming systems in each of these areas is entirely different. For example, the concept of fully automated villages was a dream in India till few months back. But they have now become a reality with the rapid growth of information and communication technology on the world scenario. The wired villages and info villages have shown that Information can be disseminated in more useful manner and as farmers need it, but the specific needs of each area have to be known first, and this is via research. Prof Mbiha goes on that the government has to understand that some of these things are done at an experimental level. The largely inactive agriculture extension workers who are based in the regions and down to the village should be used not only to give information to farmers but also gather data for on-going research. Different areas have different characteristics down to what amounts of fertilizer are required per acreage if any, the right time to cultivate, the best seed to use and other issues. On specific issues, below Prof Mbiha’s answers to The Guardian’s questions:

rious research should have been done but in this case no research has been done that is why there is a problem. It is a problem of knowing what needs to be implemented.

What is the role of Sokoine University in Kilimo Kwanza? Sokoine University was involved indirectly with Kilimo Kwanza in the beginning because we were told to prepare a paper no how to improve agriculture. We prepared the paper and submitted it but the government didn’t take it into consideration. Instead from no where they came up with Kilimo Kwanza! This slogan came out sounding very well but what to do in implementating it is really the problem. That can make everything wrong with the programme. Do you think the country is prepared to implement Kilimo Kwanza? No the country its not prepared as it is so far only the political side rather than the scientific side of Kilimo Kwanza that has so far been taken care of.

The World Bank says it’s wrong for Tanzania to mechanize agriculture as this would hurt rural employment, what’s your view? This is a simplistic statement because the role of the tractors is to help cultivation before laborers take over and do the other job, it is the economics of mechanizing which matters is mechanizing fusible or not and if not carefully it will end up being a slogan because the tractor helps in easing the job of the farmer during the first cultivation of the land. At first our farmers were using hand plough which it has been contributing to the farmer not cultivating a big land that could produce more production for selling and eating.

So what needs to be done for Kilimo Kwanza to succeed? For Kilimo Kwanza to succeed se-

What is the different between Kilimo Kwanza and other previous Agriculture development programs? The government has been trying to improve agriculture in this country since independent but it has never succeeded. Kilimo Kwanza is a slogan that its being handled more on the political side rather than scientific side, just like the previous programmes. And this where the problem is, both for the new and the pervious programs which never worked out. Of all the stakeholders, governmental and otherwise, who should play the leading role of champion of Kilimo Kwanza? The ministry of Agriculture should play the central role by starting with research and then coordination down to the rural areas, dealing with the idle agricultural extension officers who are inactive in the regions, with no connections between the farmers and them. Since the resources required for the transformation of cannot be enough, which specific aspects of the country’s agriculture should get first priority under Kilimo Kwanza? In this case the government should, without doubt start with water accessibility. This is the most important item in agriculture, more than anything else. When we talk about irrigation it cannot operate without water. Irrigation for example is quite expensive, and for the government to allocate it a mere shs40billion, that was really peanuts.

Which crops should be given priority? The crop that can be sold and stored for food too for example the farmer has to cultivate to get enough production for food and selling too.

Is there need for promoting biofuel in Tanzania? We have to consider first if Biofuel is its beneficial to our country because sometimes our government embark on issues that they are not well researched for the beneficial of the country, for example most of the investment is done by foreigners as a country what policy do we have to make sure that biofuel benefit the country as our country will still need to export raw materials of which this approach is not profitable to us. How should the financial sector banks facilitate Kilimo Kwanza? Agriculture is a business in many parts of the world agriculture is expected to get interest rates which a lower than going for commercial rate because agriculture it’s a long term investment the government proposed that agriculture bank was supposed to be established so that it can help the farmers and the government as a whole to improve agriculture on the side of finance but what’s not happening?. What is wrong with Kilimo Kwanza? Everything is wrong with Kilimo Kwanza because our country embark on issues without researching them for example irrigation its realy expensive to run irrigation in Tanzania and the government is setting aside such peanuts money for irrigation, the government imported power tillers that it’s a technology should be based suitable for a type of soil but not any type, another thing the government is handling this issue in a political way than a scientific way do you think with this approach we can succeed in Kilimo Kwanza? Asses the state rate of irrigation in Tanzania? Just small part of this country cover irrigation for example those regions that it’s not easy to be accessed with water its really difficult to have irrigation unless proper infrastructure is done. What should be the role of education in Agriculture? The role of education in agriculture its very important for example power tillers are imported in the country to the farmers but the farmers are not issued with any education so they don’t know what they will do when the power tiller have a break down. And this the work of extension officers who are idol in the regions and villages doing nothing now you wonder the farmer cannot communicate to anyone incase they are stuck not knowing what to do. I was realy surprised when the government decided to remove agriculture subject in schools.


Monday 22 February, 2010




What does it take to make irrigation a reality? Any major transformation leading to growth of agricultural output in Tanzania will have to start with provision of water to the semi arid lands. A study by the Sokoine University of Agriculture just before the launch of Kilimo Kwanza last year examined the state of of the country’s water resources and the prospect of their being used to improve agricultural output. Below is the relevant extract from the report:


Water Uses from water resources ater from the surface sources may be used for several developments including domestic water supply, hydropower production, irrigated agriculture, industries, fisheries, livestock, and flood control. There are two types of dams that can be used to tap water from surface water from rivers and streams, namely diversion dams and water storage dams. Diversion dams are widely used for irrigated agriculture in the countries. However, the amount of water abstracted from the rivers varies with water depth in the river, which in turn varies with rainfall since the diversion dams do not store water. Hence, the water supply for the different developments would have a lot of variations which the water operators would not be able to control. However, multipurpose storage dams could cater for all the uses for most of the sectors of economy at any required amount. Consequently, in order to increase income, reduce poverty of the rural poor and improve the overall economy of the country, coordinated efforts of the stakeholders including the government, private sector and donor agencies should develop a series of multipurpose storage dams rather than diversion dams along the major rivers starting from the catchment areas towards the outlet to the oceans and lakes. Multipurpose storage dams have several advantages over diversion dams including: (i) they provide reliable and constant water supply for the different developments, (ii) they can be used to control floods that are disastrous to the people, agriculture and livestock, and (iii) They have multiplier effect on the economy. Storage dams are known to equalize the water supply since only the required amount can be tapped from the accumulated pool at a constant rate. Further, storage dams are used to control floods that can result in deaths of many people and animals, loss of property, and destroy the envi-

ronment. How can storage dams be used to control floods? When heavy rainfall is expected to cause floods in the near future, a forecasted amount of water from the stored water in the reservoir is released to leave space for the expected runoff. The released water is not wasted to the oceans, but it is retained in the downstream storage dams. In addition, storage dams would control power failure since electricity produced from each of the series of dams will be stored into the national grid from which electricity will be tapped. Finally, storage dams have a multiplier effect that is the benefit of these dams will trickle down to all Tanzanians. For example, storage dams will affect every Tanzanian using electricity, water, and other services and the revenue generated from these services could be invested in agro-industries resulting into value addition for agricultural produce and creation of jobs. At present diversion dams supply water to almost all irrigation schemes that irrigate using surface irrigation systems in river basins. However, these dams supply unreliable and variable amounts of water which in most cases do not satisfy the crop water requirements. Most of the few multipurpose storage dams are under-utilized since they are built for a single purpose; for example, producing hydropower. Several storage dams are used in large irrigation projects for producing sugarcane (Mtibwa and Tanganyika Planting Company in Moshi, and Kilombero) and those producing tea (Njombe, and Mufindi) using sprinkler irrigation. Few and small storage dams are used for domestic and livestock water supply. In Zimbabwe and South Africa, small earth-dams (storage ones) are used and have proved to be inexpensive.

A well channel cemented canal.

Strategies for developing water resources Medium-Term The private sector, NGOs and donor agencies should plan and develop small storage dams for the different uses. Long-Term The government, private sector and donor agencies should design and construct multipurpose storage dams 2.2 IRRIGATION 2.2.1 Introduction Irrigation can be defined as the application of water in the farm in the right amount, at the right time and at the right place for optimum crop growth. In other words, it is an intensive technology that intervenes the soil moisture regime by (i) adding water to the soil when needed by the crop (irrigation), (ii) removing excess water from the cropped soil surface (surface drainage), (iii) removing excess water from the soil profile (subsurface drainage), (iv) improving and maintaining soil conditions that will sustain irrigation system (land preparation) and (v) protecting the cropped land from flooding and siltation (protective structures). From these intervention two main sections of an irrigation system can be identified, namely irrigation and drainage that make the complete irrigation system. There are three main irrigation systems that can be developed, including sprinkler, trickle and surface. For surface irrigation systems, the complete irrigation section consists of primary, secondary and distribution canals. Some surface irrigation systems are developed without either both drainage section and distribution system or without drainage alone and


Monday 22 February, 2010

said to be incomplete surface irrigation systems. The constraints of irrigation systems include (i) they are intensive technologies and they are multidisciplinary in nature. Irrigation systems are intensive requiring the farmer to spend most of his time in the farm: (i) applying, controlling and measuring water, (ii) maintaining and repairing the system, (iii) applying fertilizer and pesticides, and (iv)removing weeds from the cropped land. It is also multidisciplinary in nature requiring the planning and design to consider contributions from other disciplines other than engineering, including soil science, sociology, health, political science and other biases. This is because irrigation is affected by engineering, agricultural (crop characteristics) and socioeconomic factors, respectively. Lack of one of these three considerations will result into poor planning and design of irrigation systems. 2.2.2 Opportunities for irrigation development Climatic conditions of Tanzania are of great diversity; mean annual temperature varying from 24°C to 34°C while mean annual rainfall varies from 500 mm to 2500 mm. The coastal areas receive high rainfall whereas the central areas of the country, covering about 40 percent of the total area, receive low and erratic rainfall, and is classified as semi-arid. Only over 430,000 km2 of Tanzania (about 49 %) is arable land of which over 70,000 km2 is currently being cultivated. The country has a total irrigation development of 294,000 km2 at varying potential levels; 23,000 km2 with high potential, 48,000 km2 with medium low medium potential. Out of

the irrigable area, only about 2,275 km2 (about 0.8%) is irrigated, despite the fact that irrigation has been perceived as a necessary input to agricultural development since 1930s. 2.2.3 Poor performance of irrigation systems Irrigation systems have undoubtedly made significant contributions towards expanding food output, alleviating hunger, and improving diets in many parts of the world. However, dissatisfication with the performance of irrigation systems in developing countries, Tanzania inclusive, is widespread. Despite their promise as engines of agricultural growth, irrigation systems have continued to perform far below their potential. The results of economic performance evaluation of Dakawa Rice Farm showed that the rice farm failed to attain better irrigation management, productivity, financial and economic profitability, respectively. The resulting values of productivity (2.6 tons/ha), internal rate of return (2.4 %), benefit cost ratio (0.34) and net present value at 20 % percent discount (- 809,595 Tshs) showed the poor performance of the irrigated farm. Poor performance is usually attributed to (i) poor planning, design, and construction, (ii) excess water application in the upper reaches of the systems resulting in adequate water supplies in the lower end of the command area (tail-end problem), (iii) collapse of canals and gates due to lack of repair and maintenance leading to siltation and flooding of the production area, (iv) untimely and unreliable water deliveries for different parts of the irrigation system, (v) reduced efficiencies to below 50 %, and (vi) land degradation resulting from waterlogging and salinisation due to over-application of water. The main causes of poor planning, design, and construction include (i) poor selection of the type of irrigation system to develop, (ii) exclusion of drainage section in the design while it is part and parcel of the irrigation development, (iii) for surface irrigation system, excluding either both drainage section and distribution part or drainage part alone (which occurs most often); and (iv) ignoring the multidisciplinary nature of irrigation systems; allowing civil engineers alone to plan and design irrigation systems. Consequently, the net result is that irrigation systems are underutilized, crop yield in the systems fall far below potentials with low cropping intensities and, in some cases, failing to enhance incomes and food security for the rural poor. Also, over-application of water can render the soil useless for crop production through waterlogging and salinization. However, applying too little water can cause water stress to the crop, thus reducing yield. 2.2.4 Strategies for irrigation development Medium Term (i) Promote private sector to create agencies for planning, design and construction of irrigation systems. (ii) Improve the existing irrigation systems. Long Term (i) Train irrigation extension officers in irrigation water management. (ii) Develop new irrigation schemes in basins and uplands. (iii) Establish irrigation research centers.


Ruvuma shines

By Sayuni Kimaro

lthough the national irrigation efforts have attracted a lot of criticism, there is a silver lining in the whole depressing cloud.

This is in Ruvuma, where impressive results have been achieved as a result of sustained efforts invested in irrigation. The irrigation schemes in Ruvuma are contributing significantly to fulfilling the national targets for various crops, for instance the need to have 405,000 hectares under paddy as stipulated in the 2004 irrigation development strategy. The development of irrigation infrastructure in Ruvuma has not only made available more water to wider areas, it has also enhanced the protection of natural sources of the rivers, lakes and springs water. The fact that the farmers are involved in all steps for the preparations of irrigation infrastructure farming also means that the skills are being spread and passed on from the professionals to the population. The beauty of farmers’ participation lies in the sense of ownership. Unlike the attitude ordinary people normally reserve for government projects, the farmers here feel they own the programme, and no wonder, they contribute up to 20 percent of construction costs. This includes canal constructions as well as stone collections. Canals are really strong concrete to eliminate wastage and manage the return of flow to the natural source. A total of 310,745 hectors were already developed in December 2009 equivalent to 1 percent of the whole area suitable for irrigation farming. Benefits A lot has been achieved by the farmers here as a result of improved irrigation infrastructure. Farmers are getting plenty of water unlike before

The Ruvuma Regional Commissioner Christine Ishengoma, explaining how farmers have benefited from irrigation farming

Mr Singo from Nyamahana irrigation scheme in Iringa, explains the importance of irrigation farming.

Namtumbo district CCM councilor explaining how irrigation farming boosted revenues collections.


they were farming by relying on the unreliable rains. “Before the improvement of these irrigation schemes the situation was not very pleasant. But now we are enjoying and carrying out our activities happily since there is no water problem,” said one farmer from Utengule Usongwe irrigation scheme in Mbeya. With such development, production has increase, particularly with paddy farmers who are harvesting 5tons per one hector which is equal to 62 sacks unlike before when a farmer got an average of 1.5 tons equivalent to 18 sacks. Namtumbo Councilor in Ruvuma, Grace Kapinga stated that the district has benefited considerably since the introduction of modern irrigation. Revenues have increased; farmers have been able to construct new houses as well as taking their children to good school. She observes that a the farmers’ incomes have rise, so do they in turn put more effort in maintaining the irrigation system. “With irrigation, farmers are able to harvest several times more than they used to when they were depending on rain seasons. They are no longer moving from one place to another hence the issue of land degradation is not seen anymore,” Kapinga noted. Most farmers affirmed that they have benefited from the irrigation farming as one can sell some of the crops and still hoping to have more food for domestic use, as Upendo Machunda from Kitanda irrigation scheme said. One Singo, a farmer from Nyamahana scheme in Iringa observed that before the scheme was initiated in 1968, the water was being misused as plenty of it was lost in the inefficient the watering of the farms. He said since the construction of cemented canals no water is wasted and farmers have increased their production. “I believe in two years to come every farmer who is using improved seeds will buy a car. Better still, we can afford to send our children to good schools. Imagine the production of maize have increased from 6 sacks to 45 sacks per hectare,” he said.

Irrigate land to cope with Tanzanian women fertility B

uyad Saidi is already having trouble feeding his family of six children, with his fertile wife still capable of giving him several more. Asked what he would do to cope, Saidi said: "Perhaps I should stop fathering children." This is a telling statement by a father in an area where children come with pride. But as families have more children, farmland gets fragmented into small plots for the many siblings, productivity falls and the dependence ratio grows. Coupled with unpredictable weath-

er and the business as usual approach of the state and you have the recipe for a perpetually food-insecure, poor country. This famine scenario was echoed by the Deputy Agriculture minister David Mathayo who asked how Egypt and Israel, which are largely deserts, grow fruits and export juice, while Tanzania, blessed with rich soils and lakes and rivers, starves? Why, Mathayo wondered, can't the country start seriously promoting irrigation to supplement the rains when necessary? This should involve everyone not the government hand alone.

From The Ground

Angel Navuri


People must find creative ways to harness water resources to make irrigation by smallholder farmers possible. But they need creative, committed leadership. It is expensive, of course, but who said saving lives was going to be cheap? For without a change in approach this is what it will come down to saving people from starving to death. As we now know, the people of Kilimanjaro and other regions are bracing for famine following back-to-back drought.

Three years ago, the former prime minister even came up with an idea of rain making which it didn’t work because of cost. But the country has water flowing along the surface and lying under the ground, which can help stabilize farming in face of unpredictable weather. Small-scale irrigation schemes should be a key to food security Tanzania When more farm lands are irrigated and become more productive, Mzee Said will stop living in fear of his wife’s fertility.

The Guardian KILIMO KWANZA 8

Monday 22 February, 2010


United States backs agricultural development in Tanzania The new Ambassador of the United States of America to the United Republic of Tanzania, Alfonso E. Lenhardt, was asked by The Guardian’s Angel Navuri about his country’s contribution to the development of agriculture in Tanzania. Below are excerpts: Question: Recently we had an interview with the World Bank Country Director who expressed opposition to agricultural mechanization in Tanzania on grounds that it would curtail employment. Does the US government think the same? Answer: Agricultural mechanization is a very broad term. In its most basic sense, agricultural mechanization aims at increasing agricultural output while reducing reliance on purely physical labour. There is no single set of guidelines that would work in every country. For example, in the 1960s and 1970s donors supplied a great number of tractors to countries that lacked adequate support systems in most instances. Government agencies tasked to provide repair and maintenance services performed poorly. As a result, these "tractorization programs" mostly failed. The lesson from these failures is that wide-scale agricultural mechanization is capital intensive. It requires a sustainable, reliable and efficient support system, which may be run either by government or private business. There are different levels of mechanization. It is up to individual farmers to choose mechanization strategies best suited to their farms. Government can assist these farmers through policies that promote access to a wide range of mechanization options and educating farmers about those options so that they can make the best possible decisions for themselves. The conditions faced by each farmer dictate what combination of human power, animal force, and mechanical tools

dustry is expanding to cater both to domestic and export markets. Negotiations are underway for Tanzania to benefit from the new initiative by President Obama's administration to address Global Hunger, Food Security and Climate Change. If negotiations are successfully concluded, in the near future Tanzania would receive increased resources to support its agriculture in line with the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). There are large areas of Tanzania where farmers produce only enough for themselves and their families, despite access to highly productive land. The reason for this is that they have no way to get food they produce to market, due to very poor roads. The American people, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, are funding the construction of good roads into these areas with rich agricultural potential. Examples include the road from Tunduma on the Zambia border to Sumbawanga and the Mtwara corridor. In addition to development assistance provided by the U.S. Government, Tanzania is benefiting from direct investment by U.S. private companies. In 2009, the United States was among Tanzania's top five sources of foreign direct investment. Tanzania's agricultural sector has also received substantial support from the Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and other major American NGOs.

His Execellency Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt would be most efficient. In Tanzania, hand-driven power tillers or coffee washing stations come to mind. It is, of course, up to the Government of Tanzania to develop a policy of agricultural mechanization that best supports the nation's farmers. Question: In what other ways besides budgetary support can the US help Tanzania in its quest to modernize Agriculture

Answer: The American people support Tanzanian agriculture by providing technical assistance, market linkage, trade facilitation, infrastructure development and other programs. As a result, Tanzanian coffee growers are selling their coffee to such major American retailers as Starbucks and Peet's Coffee & Tea, vegetable farmers from the Northern Highlands have started to export to European supermarket chains, and the horticulture in-

Question: Do you think Tanzania will succeed in executing a green revolution Agriculture given the fact that the sector has remained backward for many years and depends largely on rain fed farming. Answer: Tanzania is endowed with abundant natural resources and hard working, talented people. Tanzania could nourish the entire region, given strong political support for policies that assist the nation's farmers to be as productive as possible and encourages private investment in agricultural services, processing and marketing.

Biography The Ambassador of the United States of America to the United Republic of Tanzania, Alfonso E. Lenhardt, presented his diplomatic credentials to President Jakaya Kikwete at the State House in Dar es Salaam on Thursday, November 12, 2009. From May 2004, Ambassador Lenhardt was the President and CEO of the nonprofit National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC). He was also Senior Vice President of Government Relations for The Shaw Group. On September 4, 2001, Ambassador Lenhardt was appointed the 36th Sergeant-atArms of the United States Senate and became the first African-American to serve as an officer of the Congress. He also served as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Council on Foundations. Ambassador Lenhardt retired from the U.S. Army in August 1997 as a Major General with more than 30 years of service in leadership positions. Ambassador Lenhardt was born in New York City and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska, a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Central Michigan University, and a Master of Science in the Administration of Justice from Wichita State University. Ambassador Lenhardt and his wife Jacqueline have three daughters.

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Kilimo Kwanza  
Kilimo Kwanza  

The Guardian's "Kilimo Kwanza" (Agriculture First), a bimonthly supplement on agriculture and rural development. The supplement is published...