Tanzania in the News: Defeating Drought

April 3, 2015 at 8:04 pm Leave a comment

Tanzania has experienced chronic drought for the past several years now, threatening the economy and landscape with extreme lack of water. Around 80% of people in Tanzania rely on rain fed agriculture for their livelihood, leaving the well being of many vulnerable with continued lack of rain.

So now, farmers and animal herders are taking steps to build a better system for their country, changing many of the ways they have worked for centuries in order to protect their future.

Drip Irrigation

This methodical approach to watering crops takes far less time and energy than other systems, as well as requiring less actual water to supply sufficient moisture to the plants. This technology has cut water use by around 75 percent in many areas, in addition to the lesser amount of water lost to evaporation.

New laws also allow farmers to expand their planting onto government-controlled land provided they use irrigation sustainably, adding further benefits to sustainable water practices.

Changing Crops

Many regions have chosen to switch their fields from common rice paddies to crops that require less water, such as vegetables, maize, potatoes, and beans. This added variety can add dimension to both cash and food crop as well as increase odds for a successful harvest.

Planting Trees

The acacia tree is ideal for helping ease the impact of drought for goat. Commonly seen across the savannah, these trees produce seeds even with low water. Goats will eat these seeds, and so these trees are essential for the many Maasai who raise goats for their milk and for their meat.

Drought Resistant Seeds

Getting seeds to grow into crops can be at the center of all drought-driven food problems. The Tanzanian Commissions for Science and Technology, has several teams of scientists who are working on promising projects to combat rainless years, one such success being drought resistant seeds. These seeds have moved from the research stage to the actual production level, and actually produce more than twice the harvest than traditional seeds, particularly when used with a drip irrigation system.

By innovating animal raising and crop cultivation as they have always known it, the people of Tanzania can build the means to withstand these years of drought while still providing food and money to their families.

Come and see the thriving land of Tanzania for yourself, stroll down the streets of cities and venture out into the great wild. Rain or shine, Tanzania remains home to many of the world’s most beautiful views and creatures.

Entry filed under: African Safari, Tanzania Safari Tours, ZARA & Environmental Care. Tags: , , .

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