Traditional Irrigation and Environmental Development Organization (TIP) provides services to farmers through Water User Groups to achieve improvement of traditional and smallholder irrigation based on sustainable use of land and water resources.
Vision – to be a reliable partner of local communities in their pursuit of rights to sustainable rural livelihoods, through a gender equitable access and control of land and water resources.
Mission – to effectively contribute to the socio-economic development of men and women through traditional irrigation improvement in the context of sustainable agriculture and natural resource management.
TIP succeeds because it uses structures that have been in operation for decades and maybe centuries. The physical earthen hand-dug canals, the organization structures and common water source forced people a long time ago to co-operate in associations. TIP has strengthened, and improved traditional irrigation in a very participatory manner. The communities have developed from a situation of food insecurity to a situation where there is marketable surplus of agricultural produce.
Poverty in Rural Tanzania
Poverty in Tanzania is largely a rural phenomenon and the poor are concentrated in subsistence agriculture with an estimated 60% of rural population falling below the poverty line. About 80% of the population in Tanzania live and earn their living in rural areas with agriculture as the mainstay of their living. Smallholder farmers dominate the sector.
The main subsistence crops, which account for 55% of total agricultural outputs are: maize, sorghum, millet, cassava, rice, plantains and vegetables. The major smallholder cash crops are coffee, cotton and cashew nuts. The agricultural sector accounts for 73% of all exports and contributes annually on average about 48% of GDP.
Faced with rapidly increasing population currently estimated at 2.8% per annum, growth in the sector has been insufficient to pull the majority of the rural population out of poverty. Several factors have contributed to the sector’s poor performance. The major problem is declining land productivity due to the use of inappropriate farming methods, which are creating severe land and resource degradation, especially water and soil. Government has decided to target an expansion in agricultural production as the key mechanism to reduce the country’s poverty.
In the Kilimanjaro region, annual food requirement is 49,053 tons of pulses on average, but average production of pulses is 27,600 tons (about 56% of actual requirement). To meet the needs, the region is forced to import food from other regions in the country.