Main Article Content
Irrigation is considered a major means of increasing productivity to ensure food security all over the world due to rainfall variability caused by climate change. Different countries, including Tanzania, have been advised to engage in irrigation systems, and various regulatory frameworks have been developed to support this. However, different studies reveal both positive and negative results regarding the contribution of irrigation systems to food security, which has raised concerns and prompted the need for further investigation. This study aimed to determine the awareness on the contribution of irrigation systems to food security, types of crops cultivated through irrigation systems, the number of meals consumed by households practicing irrigation, and the challenges facing smallholder farmers in adopting irrigation systems. The Entitlement to Food Theory guided the conduct of this study, which employed a cross-sectional research design involving surveys, interviews, and documentary reviews. A total of 60 households were selected for the study, and the data were analysed descriptively using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and content analysis. The study revealed that farmers had an understanding of the contribution of irrigation systems to food security, although they encountered some challenges including lack of inputs and funds for extensive farming. It was further found that 80% of farmers preferred planting maize over other food crops due to its cost-effectiveness in terms of the required inputs. Additionally, majority of the community members had an understanding of food security in terms of access and availability, rather than utilisation. The study recommends that farmers be educated on the importance of planting other nutrient-rich crops. Furthermore, they should be informed about alternative means of obtaining funds, such as entrepreneurial activities, and using their farms as collateral to access the required agricultural inputs.