In Summary

Irrigation can minimize frequent food shortages that are attributable to dependence on rainfall, and increase yields. Irrigation offers great potential for food and nutrition security, and climate resilience.

Irrigation is the application of controlled amounts of water to plants at needed intervals. Irrigation helps to grow agricultural crops, maintain landscapes, and revegetate disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of less than average rainfall.  

Irrigation is important in Tanzania to deal with the erratic rainfall, especially in the context of climate change.

Irrigation can minimize frequent food shortages that are attributable to dependence on rainfall, and increase yields. Irrigation offers great potential for food and nutrition security, and climate resilience.

Development of irrigation gives unprecedented opportunity to transform agriculture from subsistence to commercial orientation. Tanzania’s irrigated area is far below the potential, and the government is committed to expanding irrigation.

However, to do this effectively requires a range of infrastructure that will provide for a wide range of crops and efficient water use. Recognizing this need, the government of Tanzania has made ambitious commitments to expand the area irrigated, and set up the National Irrigation Commission (NIC) to deliver on this potential. The NIC strategy currently being developed identifies Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) as important, but seeks advice on appropriate models of PPP.

In an interview with Citizen, National Irrigation Commission shares its insights that are potential for irrigation sector development.

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) for Irrigation

PPPs for irrigation becoming widely accepted model for financing irrigation, supported by the World Bank, IFC, ADB and directly by governments. PPPs in use for a long time in other sectors: energy (power plant), Transportation (toll roads), water supply (utilities), less in irrigation.

Objectives of PPPs

• Reduce Government budget outlays for irrigation O&M and sometimes investment (plays a role in all cases)

• By‐pass laws that do not allow the Government to charge for ISF (e.g. irrigation PPP in Morocco)

• Bring in technical know‐how on agro‐processing, increase national food security, develop agricultural export sector (e.g. irrigation + rice processing in SAGCOT area, Tanzania)

• Develop a new irrigation system (e.g. WB project in Ethiopia, French company, proposed ISF: US$150/ha)

• Expanding area, increasing efficiency and profitability, including smart water meters (e.g. Bangladesh, but here government, reimburses private operator)

However there is generally little knowledge of extent to which objectives are met, who wins and losses, and how to ensure that PPPs help local populations. It is useful to think of PPPP: Public, Private, and Producer Partnerships to recognize the role of (small-scale) producers who can be a potential source of investment.

Public Private Producers Partnerships (PPPP)

The research study conducted stakeholder net mapping of Kilombero Plantations Ltd, Madibira, and Kilombero Sugar Company, identified that there are many actors involved in PPPs, beyond the simple categories of government, private sector, and (smallholder) farmers.

The Assessing Models of Public-Private Partnership for Irrigation Development in Africa (AMPPPIDA project) has developed a framework for assessing the role of many different actors including various government agencies, private sector firms, NGOs, development partners, research organizations and smallholder farmer cooperatives or associations. This framework may be useful for planning and creating greater clarity in expectations on PPPs.

Kilombero Plantations Ltd (rice scheme)

• Fertile Kilombero valley, good for rice farming

• Redevelop Mngeta Farm, joint venture between

North Korea and Tanzania started mid‐1980s

• 2007 KPL PPP between Rufiji Basin Developments

Authority (RUBADA) and Africa (UK co, investors from Norfund, Capricorn Investment Group, and African

Agricultural Capital) + DfID, USAID, JICA support

• 5818 ha estate; 1430 ha irrigated, 3000 by 2016

• 3200 outgrower farmers not irrigated but get SRI advice, link to inputs and microfinance

Kilombero Plantations Ltd Findings

• Land tenure: Former state farm re‐occupied,

Compensation to vacate, tensions with


• Price volatility: company and farmers losing


• Taxation policy on imported equipment

• Multiple viewpoints, “realities”

Madibira Background

• 3000 ha rice irrigation farmer managed scheme established in the late 1990s

• Constructed through a loan from the African

Development Bank, and built on government land.

• Owned and operated by the Madibira

Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Society


Madibira Findings

Scheme has managed to improve farmers’ living standard through increased farmers’ income, improved housing and social services like health centers as well as primary and secondary schools.

Challenges to be addressed include poor access roads, non‐operation of the rice milling plant due to unreliable energy, market unreliability, shortage of farming equipment such as tractors and power tillers, as well as noticed changes in decrease of water for irrigation.

Kilombero Sugar Background

Kilombero Sugar Company Limited ‐ a registered sugar miller, grower and producer

KSCL owns estates 2: Msolwa estate (5000 ha), established in 1960 and production began in 1962, Ruembe (5000 ha), developed in 1974 and came into operation in 1976.

Divested in 1998 to Illovo Sugar Ltd and ED&F

Man Ltd by selling 75 per cent of its shares the remaining 25 per cent is still held by GoT and will be sold, eventually, to Tanzanians, through the stock market.

Kilombero Sugar Findings

Important players linking the investors and smallholders are the producer organizations for cane growers.

The associations negotiate the terms of business between out‐growers and millers, and to provide essential agricultural services to their out‐growers. In recent years these services expanded in scope into areas like cane harvesting, loan brokerage and administration, and extension support.

Have enabled out‐growers to negotiate and transact collectively through CSA, reducing transaction costs to both parties. They also negotiate with CRDB Bank and National Microfinance Bank

Sugar production has increased from 61,688 tons in 2000/01 to over 125, 374 tons in 2014/15. Mill expansions have allowed Out Growers to increase their production area from 3,855 ha in 1998/99 to about 12,000 ha in 2014/15.

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