DAR ES SALAAM, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan said Wednesday that plans are underway to turn the Rufiji River Basin into the country's breadbasket for the production of rice.
Addressing a public rally in the Rufiji district in the Coast region on her way back from an official visit to Mtwara and Lindi regions, Hassan said the basin covering more than 60,000 hectares was preferable for paddy cultivation.
"This year the government has planned to establish a paddy irrigation scheme for 3,000 hectares in the Rufiji River Basin," she announced, saying the government intended to produce rice for both local consumption and exports from the basin.
According to the International Rice Research Institute, Tanzania is the second largest producer of rice in eastern and southern Africa after Madagascar. ■