The following conditions that made Mwea suitable for the establishment of an irrigation scheme

  • Sparse population making it easy and cheap to resettle people. sparse and low population made it easy to compensate the people who were living in the area.
  • Land availability due to low population
  • Gently sloping topography enabling gravity flow of water
  • Presence of perennial rivers Thiba and Nyarnindi provided adequate water all year.
  • The Mwea plains have black cotton soil suitable for rice farming as it retains water.
  • The area receives inadequate (poorly distributed) rainfall, hence unsuitable for rainfed agriculture.

  • The land is gently sloping hence gravity flow of water in the channels.
  • The area has high temperatures hence low pest and disease incidence.
  • The undulating relief is suitable for mechanization.
  • Need to engage political detainees 1950’s.
  • To create land to settle those whose lands were taken by white settlers.
  • The plains were sparsely populated.
The following conditions that made Mwea suitable for the establishment of an irrigation scheme


kilombero irrigation scheme started in 1960 and it became a government parastatal called Sugar Development co-operation in 1968.

Today, it employs over 46,000 workers and it contributes 40% of the total sugar production in Tanzania.

It has mainly encouraged the development of out growers’ schemes.

Problems facing the farmers on the kilombero valley irrigation scheme

  • Diseases e.g. yellow wilt that destroys the sugarcane leading to reduced output.
  • Soil exhaustion due to monoculture leading to low output hence low export potential.
  • Leaching of soil due to the excessive water which leads to poor soils hence low productivity.

  • Pests e.g. snails which destroy the sugarcane hence leading to poor quality output.
  • Price fluctuation due to over production and competition with other sugar producing countries e.g. Uganda leading to low morale of farmers.
  • Shortage of labour especially during the harvesting period due to low population in the area.
  • Fire out breaks which destroy large parts of the farms leading to losses for the scheme.
  • Dangerous animals like snakes which scare away the farmers leading to labour shortage.

  • Presence of weeds which compete with sugarcane for water and soil nutrients leading to poor quality output.
  • Silting of the canals by floods which calls for regular dredging yet it’s very expensive.
  • It requires high capital investment to operate the scheme yet capital is not readily available.
  • Salinity of the soils due to excessive evaporation as a result of hot temperatures in the area.
  • Inefficient transport within the scheme which makes the delivery of sugar to the markets very difficult.
  • Natural hazards e.g. hailstorms and strong winds also destroy large parts of the scheme leading to losses.



California is a dry area found in the USA and it is important for irrigation farming in areas around the imperial valley, river san Joaquin, colorado, and Sacramento, around delta Mondata and Shasta dam. irrigation in California is important for fruits and vegetables like cucumber, eggplant, oranges, and cauliflower.

The following are advantages of irrigation farming in California

The following are advantages of irrigation farming in California

  • Source of government revenue leading to capital accumulation and improving national income
  • development of the tourism industry by visiting irrigation areas like around the imperial valley and Shasta dam

  • control of floods reducing on pests and diseases thus attracting settlement
  • environmental conservation through afforestation and reafforestation programs in flooded areas and areas with infertile soil
  • land reclamation by using desert areas and flooded areas
  • source of food to the people of California for example fruits, vegetables thus reducing the shortage of food and malnutrition
  • it provides employment opportunities to the people of California such as people working in agro-based industries, farmers, and holidaymakers
  • source of foreign exchange through exportation of fruits and other crops to Canada and Europe
  • good international relation with importing countries such as Canada, Japan, and Britain
  • economic diversification by influencing other activities like trade, transport, and tourism

  • development of urban centers such as Los Angeles which as used as marketing centers
  • Improvement of transport and communication which are used to transport inputs to farms and output to market.
  • Power supply by dams is used for both domestic and industrial purpose for example frient dam and Shasta dam
  • provision of raw materials for agro-based industries which lead to industrial development
  • Promotion of education and research by attracting people for demonstration purposes.

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More than 90% of Egypt is desert which is divided into two by the Nile River.

The Nile valley and delta are the main centers of settlement and cultivation.

Less than 10% of Egypt’s land area is suitable for cultivation and hence the need for irrigation.

The following are steps taken to improve irrigation farming in Egypt

  • construction of water reservoir to supply water for irrigation
  • reclaiming of dry land for crop farming to increase production
  • intensive cultivation to increase the yield and thus offset the high cost of production
  • controlling weeds using herbicides and thus increasing the farm yield
  • strengthening of cooperatives to easily acquire loans to expand farms
  • hiring labor during the peak period such as harvesting
  • increasing research into better yielding, fast maturing and disease resistance varieties
  • carrying out market research to widen the export market for farm output

  • constant dredging of canals to allow efficient flow of water for irrigation
  • specialization of farming activities and thus increase in the quality of output
  • practicing mixed farming to encourage interdependence between crop and livestock
  • extension of canals and aqueducts to transfer water to the farms