Sumbawanga — OVER 2.22bn/- was set aside by the District Irrigation Development Fund (DIDF) for the implementation of irrigation farming in Rukwa region during the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
Rukwa Regional Commissioner, Ms Stella Manyanya said this during an exclusive interview with the ‘Daily News’ here on Monday.
She said over 1bn/- was allocated to Sumbawanga District Council and Nkasi got 250mil/- while Mpanda was apportioned 900mil/-.
She said Rukwa region boasts of 16 modern irrigation projects, while 22 traditional irrigation schemes are also in operation. The region has also completed construction of Urwira irrigation project under Mpanda District Council, the RC explained, adding that other irrigation projects were at different stages of rehabilitation including survey and design.
Rukwa region has 995,700 hectares suitable for irrigation farming out of which only 27,136 or 25.4 per cent is currently under irrigation. Meanwhile, the government has started using the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF)’s vehicles in a special operation to transport 20,000 tonnes of maize from the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) storage facility in Sumbawanga town, Rukwa Region to Shinyanga Zone via Mpanda centre in Katavi region.
That was revealed by the head of operation, Major Gervas Lazaro, during an exclusive interview with this newspaper held in Sumbawanga Municipality on Sunday. According to Major Lazaro, the maize transporting exercise commenced officially on August 22, this year and it is estimated to take 85 consecutive days. Seventy six vehicles are being used, of which 66 ferry the maize cargo while 10 are being used for administration.
The target was to transport 37,767.9 tonnes of maize which was kept in the NFRA storage facilities in Sumbawanga town during the maize purchasing season in 2011-12. And since August 22, this year up-to-date TPDF has already ferried 11,399.554 tonnes of maize.
However, Major Lazaro hinted that the operation has been encountering several challenges such as poor road network from Sumbawanga to Mpanda centres.
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