International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001
Rainwater Catchment in Humid and Arid Regions
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
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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