Tanzania: Nirc to Establish Irrigation Service Fee

THE National Irrigation Commission (NIRC) plans to put in place an irrigation service fee, as it seeks additional sources of funds to revive and set up new infrastructures across the country.

About 29 million hectares are potential for irrigation farming in the country, unfortunately due to limited infrastructures, only less than 700,000 hectares have requisite infrastructures.

NIRC Acting Director General, Daudi Nicodemus told Deputy Minister for Agriculture Hussein Bashe that NIRC also planned to establish an independent advisory and construction company that he said would help speed up the setting up of irrigation schemes.

“Government irrigation projects have been very expensive. The company will help reduce the cost of hiring foreign companies,” he said.

Mr Bashe, however, wondered whether farmers had been involved in preparations for the new fee, but NIRC explained that public opinion was sought from at least seven regions in which farmers showed no objection.

The DG said the irrigation service fee had already been endorsed and what was remaining was to publish it in the government gazette for it to be effective.

“Farmers are ready to contribute given that the money paid will support the sustainability of the irrigation scheme,” he said.

Similar irrigation service fees have been established in countries such as Malaysia and the Philippines.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Gerald Kusaya announced that the ministry targeted to reach 1.2 million hectares by 2025.