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Expanding Rice Production Project (ERPP)

$22.9 million to support the rehabilitation of irrigation schemes and an input voucher scheme for rice input packages in project zones.
Photo: Scott Wallace


In Tanzania, the agricultural sector is a key driver of social and economic development, generating 25% of GDP, 24% of exports, and employing over 75% of the population – particularly in rural areas where poverty and food insecurity are highly concentrated. Smallholder farming is characterized by the use of rudimentary tools like the hand hoe and reliant on traditional rain-fed cropping method and animal husbandry. Food is the principal sub-sector, dominated by smallholder subsistence farmers with 0.2 to 2.0 hectares who utilize 80% of the cultivated arable land to produce both food and cash crops. However, most farmers can only produce one crop a year because of poor irrigation infrastructure and water management.


The Expanding Rice Production Project (ERPP) aims to increase rice produced and marketed in targeted areas of Morogoro on the
Tanzanian mainland and on Zanzibar, leading to improved rural incomes and food security. This will be achieved through activities related to sustainable seed systems, improved crop productivity through better irrigation and crop management, and innovative
marketing strategies. The project includes efforts to manage the irrigation scheme as a block, to facilitate bulk purchase of inputs, and to coordinate crop sales through a warehousing program. The project contributes to climate change adaptation by supporting
improved irrigation and water management systems. The project is anticipated to ultimately support about 165,345 people producing irrigated rice on 18,500 hectares of land on Tanzania’s mainland and on Zanzibar. Project monitoring systems will evaluate the
participation of female farmers in the targeted irrigation schemes and assure that women do not lose access to land when productivity and incomes rise. 

Project Status






Focus area

  • Climate Change

Supervising entity

World Bank


The project promotes improved water use efficiency in irrigated rice production by supporting the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), which can reduce water use by up to 50 percent. The project has provided training to farmers on SRI as well as the
required infrastructure input needed to adopt the new technology. On the mainland, some 11 improved rice varieties were promoted using SRI, which involved training of 6,100 farmers on SRI in 40 irrigation schemes as well as planting of 76.6 hectares of land
for seed multiplication, which produced 39.55 tons of pre-basic seeds. The project also provided 48.4 tons of basic seeds and 156 tons of certified seeds, distributed 75 tons of fertilizer and 5.7 tons of rice seed in 1,152 demonstration plots, and 311 members of
irrigation organizations have been trained on operations and maintenance. In Zanzibar, the project has promoted two new rice varieties, which involved the training of 3,600 farmers on SRI technologies in 380 demonstration plots and the distribution of 14.8 tons of fertilizer and 0.76 tons of seeds in demonstration plots. Also in Zanzibar, one ton of basic seeds was produced, and 30 contract seed grower’s farms were inspected. Further, 880 farmers were trained on land preparation, variety selection, and harvesting. Approximately 3,000 leaflets, 2,000 brochures/books, and 8 banners were produced to promote rice varieties most 
preferred by farmers (SUPA BC and SARO 5), and the seed equipment for the ZARI-Kizimbani seed laboratory were procured and delivered. 

Work with Us

The Global Agriculture & Food Security Program (GAFSP) is dedicated to fighting hunger, malnutrition, and poverty in low-income countries by supporting resilient and sustainable agricultural systems that benefit and empower poor and vulnerable smallholder farmers. Since its inception in 2010, GAFSP has received contributions totaling $1.7 billion from Australia, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with funds going to countries that have strategic, innovative, and credible plans already in place to improve agricultural productivity and food security.

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