Traditional irrigation systems and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Same distrct, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


This study presents the impact of traditional irrigation on the household livelihood in Same district, Kilimanjaro region. The overall objective of this study was to assess the contribution of traditional irrigation systems to the well-being of smallholder farmers. The specific objective was to examine the contribution of traditional irrigation in improving household food security and income; determine the profitability of crop production enterprises with and without traditional irrigation systems. Both secondary and primary data were collected and the main instruments for data collection as structured questionnaire. Data were summarized and analysed statistically using descriptive statistics. Indicators of livelihood that were used in assessing the impact of traditional irrigation; were household income and food security. The results show that farmers adopt traditional irrigation system due to high crop productivity, and possibility of multiple productions. Multiple cropping of up to three times per year was possible under traditional irrigation system. This contributes to ensuring households food security throughout the year. The difference in income from crop under traditional irrigation and rainfed system was significant. However, in years with reliable rainfall there was no significant different in crop yields between traditional irrigation and rain fed system. Based on the findings of this study it is concluded that, traditional irrigation system contribute significantly to household food security and reduction of household income poverty. This is because irrigated area provides possibilities for cultivation of high value crops and multiple cropping. The main purpose of this study was to explore the economic issues associated with traditional irrigation farming practice and develop sustainable management strategies. Infrastructures available in the area and marketing potentials are important factors for enhanced productivity from traditional irrigation for food security and income.



Smallholder farmers, Household livelihood, Same district, Kilimanjaro, Traditional irrigation systems


Mnyenyelwa, M.A. (2008). Traditional irrigation systems and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Same distrct, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Morogoro: Sokoine University of Agriculture