Incentives for low-quality water irrigation of food crops in Morogoro, Tanzania

Suzana Samson, Robinson H. Mdegela, Anders Permin, Christopher P. Mahonge, James E.D. Mlangwa

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    This article highlights the link between low-quality water and food crops irrigation. A cross-sectional research was conducted to assess factors motivating farmers to use low-quality water from the waste stabilisation ponds for food crops irrigation in urban and peri-urban areas in Morogoro Urban and Mvomero, in Morogoro Region, Tanzania, from October 2013 to March 2015. Data were collected through farmers’ survey (n = 80), in-depth interviews with key informants (n = 7) and focus group discussions (n = 4). Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in results presentation. The findings indicated alternative way of earning income during dry seasons, lack of alternative sources of irrigation water, alternative source of employment, the need to produce food, land availability near the low-quality water, plant nutrients in the water and limited awareness of the health problems associated with low-quality water irrigation as incentives for farmers to irrigate food crops using low-quality water. The results further showed that farming using low-quality water has been their livelihood strategy; farmers meet their family needs such as school fees, health and food by using the income generated from the sale of vegetables and paddy. Regardless of all these benefits, the existing use of low-quality water in farming activities is informal. Besides, there are no regulations guiding its use with no declaration to whether the resource is suitable for food crops irrigation. However, banning the practice on the ground of health risks might be devastating to farmers. This practice should therefore be regulated in such a way that low-quality water disposed from the ponds is considered as a potential source of water for food crops irrigation.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnvironment, Development and Sustainability
    Volume20
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)479-494
    Number of pages16
    ISSN1387-585X
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Keywords

    • Incentives
    • Low-quality water
    • Waste stabilisation ponds
    • Safe water for food
    • Profitability

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