Farmers’ Participation in Irrigated Farming in Chamwino District in Dodoma Region Central Tanzania
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ABSTRACT: Irrigated farming has been practiced for a long time in many parts of the world including Tanzania aiming at increasing food production. A rural community is important food production sector that produces and nourishes rural as well as urban people with quality food. The aim of this study was to assess factors affecting rural communities to engage in irrigation farming in Buigiri ward located in Chamwino district, central Tanzania. Data were collected by interviewing farmers using questionnaires as a main tool, which comprised of closed and open ended questions. Descriptive statistics and regression analyses were done by using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Findings showed that 99% of farmers have acquired knowledge on good practices on irrigation agriculture. However, only 65% of farmers are practicing irrigated agriculture while 35% are not practicing. Results further indicated that 54% of farmers attended meetings which were geared towards highlighting farmers about irrigated farming. About 31% of farmers learned through farm field schools, and 14% of farmers received irrigation knowledge through seminars and workshops. Findings show 87.7% of farmers are using surface irrigation method, 9.2% of farmers use drip irrigation and only 3.1% of farmers are using sprinkler irrigation method. It was revealed that capital (P<0.001), availability of water sources (P<0.001), land (P<0.001), proper knowledge on irrigation methods (P<0.001) and respondent’s education level significantly (P < 0.05) influenced the community engagement in irrigation agriculture. However, the remaining factors which included sex of respondent, respondent's age (years), respondent's marital status and irrigation methods used did not significantly (P > 0.05) influence the community engagement in irrigation agriculture. It was concluded that majority of farmers had received training in irrigation agriculture, however due to various factors, some of them do not engage with irrigation agriculture. Irrigation methods used was dominated by surface irrigation. Available canals are not well managed as a result water leakage exist which led to substantial loss of water before reaching farming plots.