Rukwa heads for bumper harvest 

RUKWA: RUKWA Region is projecting to realise crops’ bumper harvest of almost 90 per cent this season.

The region is expecting to harvest 1,654, 840 tonnes of various crops in this season compared to 1,469,000 tonnes in 2022/23.

“The rise in crop production is due to the modernisation of farming through increased use of fertiliser and extension services to move from subsistence to commercial production,” Rukwa Regional Commissioner Makongoro Nyerere said over the weekend.

The RC was giving the state of development growth of the region before journalists and Rukwa’s stakeholders. Rukwa is the second region in the country for crop production out of 31 regions in Tanzania.

Mr Makongoro named the crops as maize that lead by almost 55 per cent in 2022/23 season and followed by rice. Others are millet, sorghum, beans, sunflower, wheat and cassava.

He said the maize production alone was 803,414 tonnes representing almost 55 per cent of the region’s total crop production in the 2022/23 season.

Additionally, the RC said the region in this season expects to produce surplus crops since the total demand is 506,060 tonnes thus the remaining is extra. The region’s population is 1,540,519.

Apart from comprehensive modernised farming practices including soil testing the region also embarked on the construction of a 21bn/- Ilemba irrigating scheme that covers 1600hectres. The construction reached 15 per cent and completion is set for next year.

Late last year, the Minister for Agriculture Mr Hussein Bashe said the irrigation experts will team up with the Rukwa experts to survey 15,000 ha of land at Kilyamatundu Village.

The construction of trio irrigation schemes of Ilemba, Sakalilo and Kilyamatundu will take place at the Rift Valley along the Lake Rukwa Basin in Sumbawanga District Council that is famous for rice production.

The Rukwa Region Irrigation officer, Eng Lucas Mganda, told ‘Daily News’ on the sideline of RC press meeting  that the construction of the schemes will help the individual farmers to boost rice production to 45 bags per ha against the current 20 bags.

So far, Rukwa has 58 irrigation schemes out of which 52 are traditional and has also identified and evaluated 67,461 ha of land suitable for irrigation farming.

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