The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is currently funding irrigation development through District Irrigation Development Fund (DIDF) costing a total of US$32.7bn
JICA chief representative in Tanzania, Onishi Yasunori, stated that the funding covered construction and rehabilitation of 119 irrigation schemes for the next three years.
According to Yasunori, some of the regions which benefited from JICA irrigation funding include Dodoma, Manyara, Singida, Kilimanjaro, Tanga, Arusha, Mbeya, Rukwa, Iringa and Mara.
"In 2002, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives in collaboration with JICA formulated the National Irrigation Master Plan which identifies 2.1mn hectares of high potential areas and became the blueprint of the irrigation development of this country," stated Yasunori.
The ministry has joined forces with JICA to implement plans to amend the Irrigation Master Plan as the current one was adopted 12 years ago making it hard to deal with current issues.
"I am happy that ATC has recently produced the first degree holders, in other words, irrigation engineers," he added.
The JICA chief stated that the agency has also been closely working with Arusha Technical College (ATC) since 2011 to strengthen its Civil and Irrigation Engineering course.