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10th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater International 2001"
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001

Section 2: Rainwater Catchment in Humid and Arid Regions

Paper 2.17

Economic Analysis of Rainwater Harvesting for Agricultural Production in Selected Semiarid Areas of Tanzania

Ephraim Senkondo, A.S.K. Msangi, P. Xavery, E.A. Lazaro, N. Hatibu
Soil Water Management Research Group
Sokoine University of Agriculture
P. O. Box 3007


The most important characteristics of semi-arid areas are the factors, which limit availability of soil moisture for plant growth. In addition, the occurrence of dry spells during the growing season is a critical problem to plant growth. The focus on Semi-arid areas is important in Tanzania because of over dependence on agriculture in low rainfall areas, poverty problems and high number of livestock. Rainwater harvesting (abbreviated as RWH) is justified in semi-arid area.

In the semi-arid areas RWH has become important for agricultural production. The most commonly used practices involve the diversion of flood flows from gullies into crop fields and reservoirs. Two main crops, rice and maize are produced in semi-arid areas using RWH techniques. It is estimated that more than 54% of paddy rice produced in Tanzania is cultivated in the semi-arid areas of Shinyanga and Mwanza. In these areas water is the scarcest resource followed by labour, good land for cultivation and financial capital.

The poster demonstrates the economic viability of RWH for crop production in semi arid areas. The introductory part gives pictorial and graphic presentation of the area of Tanzania, the proportion of that which is semi-arid, current use of RWH and the existing potential for expansion.

PDF of full document (2pp, 13kb)

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