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Economics of Rainwater Harvesting for Crop Enterprises in Semi-Arid Areas of East Africa

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This paper presents results from case studies in Tanzania where farmers are using rainwater harvesting (RWH) technology to produce maize, paddy and vegetables in semi-arid areas where it would otherwise be impossible or very difficult. The economics of these practices is analyzed in two contrasting districts over a period of five years. It is concluded that for RWH to contribute to improved incomes and food security, smallholder farmers should be assisted to change from subsistent to commercial objectives with marketing-oriented production of high value crops combined with processing into value-added products.