Globally, there is a general lack of consensus on how the available water resources can be allocated efficiently and equitably among its competing uses. In irrigated agriculture, this decodes to the central question of how this sector can be balanced in the manner that it produces more 'crops per drop,' using less water and releasing adequate water for use by other sectors while concurrently enhancing rural income and livelihoods. This requires that the values and costs of irrigated agriculture, at all levels, are well understood and appropriate interventions made. This paper presents an economic analysis of the value of irrigated paddy in Usangu Basin. It shows that if farmers in Usangu stop producing irrigated rice, annual rice supply will shrink by around 105,000 t, or about 14.4% of the total annual rice production in Tanzania, affecting the country's current account balance of payments by around US$15.9 million per annum, and either decreasing rice exports or increasing imports depending on supply and demand for rice.
WaterNET/WARFSA Symposium Proceedings, 15-17 October 2003, Gaborone, Botswana, Paper 74: pp 79-84