8 irrigation schemes set for commissioning

“The President’s thrust is empowering farmers and turning villages into greenbelts. Many people have acquired a lot of wealth through irrigation. You can irrigate crops twice a year and make maximum profits,” said Engineer Bezzel Chitsungo, the director of Irrigation Development in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development.

Precious Manomano-Herald Reporter

AT least 1 600 households are set to benefit from eight irrigation schemes totalling 811 hectares that now await commissioning by President Mnangagwa.

The irrigation schemes are part of the President’s grand plan to turn villages into green belts and underpin his policy of leaving no one or no place behind in line with Vision 2030.

Among the eight, Nyamawanga in Zvimba, Sakare B in Mt Darwin and Mopane in Sanyati are new, while Nyamuseve in Guruve, Musaverema in Mwenezi, Masholomoshe in Gwanda, Chibuwe in Chipinge have been revamped or extended.  

Once commissioned the irrigation schemes will help in climate proofing the country’s agriculture sector and enhance national food security.

“Government is on a massive drive to create new irrigation schemes, revamp non-functioning ones and to maintain existing ones. These irrigation schemes should be seen as income generating projects. 

“The President’s thrust is empowering farmers and turning villages into greenbelts. Many people have acquired a lot of wealth through irrigation. You can irrigate crops twice a year and make maximum profits,” said Engineer Bezzel Chitsungo, the director of Irrigation Development in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development.

Eng Chitsungo said Nyamavanga Irrigation Scheme in Zvimba, Mashonaland West will cover 20ha and 24 households, Mopane Irrigation Scheme in Sanyati district will cover 12ha and 24 households while Mamina Irrigation Scheme under Mhondoro Ngezi will benefit 530 households with 265ha.

In Guruve, Nyamuseve Irrigation Scheme will benefit 100 households from 50ha while in Mt Darwin 50 households will benefit from 25 ha at Sakare B Irrigation Scheme.

In Masvingo, Musaverema Irrigation Scheme in Mwenezi will cover 34ha and 68 households will benefit.

In Matabeleland South, Masholomoshe Irrigation Scheme in Gwanda will cover 38ha and support 76 households while in Manicaland 734 households will benefit from 367ha.

Recently, Government announced that it was targeting 460 irrigation schemes towards maize as efforts to improve agricultural production are escalated to mitigate effects of climate change.

This season about 100 000ha of potential irrigation have been identified for maize as the Government scales up efforts to boost food production in face of El Nino.

The permanent secretary for the same ministry, Professor Obert Jiri revealed that they still need to develop more irrigation around the huge water bodies that are in the country.

“This is really to mitigate climate proof on a larger scale so irrigation development is key. The situation about climate change is unprecedented and we must develop our irrigation in order to climate proof at the larger scale.

“Irrigation schemes are now pivotal in the face of climate change. We have 460 irrigation schemes dotted around the country.

“We have the capacity in the country to irrigate 220 000hactares. We still need to develop more irrigation around the huge water bodies that we have. Irrigation and harnessing water are currently key things which we must do,’’ he said.

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