Contributions of Small Scale Paddy Irrigation Schemes to Household Food Security in Mvomero District, Tanzania

Stanley Jason, Theresia Francis


The Agricultural and Livestock Policy of Tanzania gives high priority to the promotion of
food sufficiency and security through irrigated agriculture. The objective of this study
was to assess the contributions of small scale irrigated rice production to household’s
food security in Mvomero District; specifically on household’s food security status, the
extent to which small scale irrigated rice production contributes to household’s food
security and ways to improve sustainability of household’s food security situation in
the study area. The study employed cross-sectional research design in two villages
namely Sungaji and Mkingo in Mvomero District. Demographic characteristics and
assets of households as well as agricultural production were collected using structured
questionnaires from 55 irrigation scheme users. A systematic random sampling
technique were used to obtain usersof irrigation schemes from the Village Registry
Book (VRB) in the village and  sampling process useda skip interval at every 8

household using random number table repeatedly. However, in order to get
population sample within each village, probability proportional to size (PPS) was
applied.Descriptive statistics methods were applied to analyze the data and to
determine the association of the variables among irrigation scheme users in the study
area. The findings indicates that 32 percent of the respondent acknowledged that
irrigation schemes have increased agricultural production per unit area while almost
56.4 percent of the rice produced were served for food. However, monthly income
weresignificantly correlated with the number of meals taken per day at p>0.041. Level
of education and household size indicated a significant association with the number of
meals per taken per day at p< 0.000 and p<0.002 respectively. On the basis of the
findings, it is recommended that careful action is needed to improve irrigation
infrastructure, extension services to farmers to increase productivity, market for their
produce as well as access to loans/credit. Collaboration with all agriculture
stakeholders is needed so as to improve the productivity to enhance household food
security and community livelihood at large.

Key words: Food security, irrigation scheme, livelihood, paddy

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