Tanzania promotes new rice farming system to mitigate climate change, boost food security

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-12 03:14:35|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ARUSHA, Tanzania, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania has started a campaign to promote new farming system to fight the impact of climate change and to boost food security in the east African nation.

The new system will raise rice output, increase farmer income, and strengthen crops' resilience to climate change, said Mary Majule, principal agriculture officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, on Friday.

Traditional farming methods consume a large amount of water as a result of changing weather patterns, Majule said.

"This is part of the government's initiative to adopt the climate-smart agriculture system aimed at addressing the reckless use of water for rice production," she said.

The new system encourages limited use of water with high productivity as well as mitigating the impact of climate change, Majule said.

The system has started operating in Tanzania's regions of Mbeya, Iringa and Morogoro.

According to Majule, farmers who have adopted the new system get an average of 42 bags of rice per acre, whereas traditional farming only produce an average of five bags per acre.

Majule said the government intends to use its arable land to make Tanzania the leading nation in Africa for producing rice.

It is estimated that 18 percent of farming household in Tanzania grow rice, contributing to 2.66 percent of the the country's GDP.

Rice is the second most important food and commercial crop in Tanzania after maize.

Tanzania is among the 25 countries that produce rice in Africa. The country targets to boost production from the 875,120 tons recorded in 2007-2008 to 1,750,240 tons in 2017-2018.