For VECO East Africa, GSI executed a desktop analysis of the water use and availability data of the Lower Moshi Irrigation scheme in Northern Tanzania. Using publicly available data and open source tools, GSI delineated the watershed of the irrigation scheme, assessed the monthly water requirement and modeled the monthly water availablity scenarios. The exercise showed that the irrigation suffers from water deficits for a large part of the year. It is evident that the cropping pattern and agronomic practices in the Lower Moshi irrigation scheme need to change in order to reduce water use and increase water and economic productivity. Through a field visit we validated the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the desktop analysis.
VECO, small holder rice farmers, agricultural extensionists and irrigation managers will use the data, scenarios and recommendations to improve and track the water productivity as well as the sustainability of the water use in the Lower Moshi irrigation Scheme.
The approach that we used for the water assessment of the Lower Moshi irrigation scheme holds great promises for other data scarce environments in Africa, Asia and Latin America. With a minimum of investment in manpower, software and global data, smallholder farmers can obtain huge benefits to increase their productivity and water security.