Government engages partners to revive irrigation

Source: Government engages partners to revive irrigation | The Herald

Government engages partners to revive irrigation
Dr Anxious Masuka

Fungai Lupande

Mashonaland Central Bureau

Government has partnered Maka Resources (Pvt) Limited, a local irrigation equipment manufacturing company and other stakeholders to revamp the Nyamuseve irrigation scheme in Guruve, which is expected to cover 200 hectares of land in line with the target for each district.

Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Anxious Masuka visited Nyamuseve irrigation scheme last week on an assessment mission.

He said vision 2030 would be achieved through an increase in agricultural production.

The Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) would be given 40 tractors to assist in capacitating small holder irrigation schemes.

Maka Resources has put in place two centre pivots, two pumps, electricity transformers and installation will be complete by the end of this week.

Dr Masuka said: “The President pronounced that he want to achieve 200 hectares per district. His view was that if people have 200 hectares irrigable land and they plant a cereal crop, we will get 2 000 tonnes of maize per district.

“This means that districts will no longer be relying on social welfare. Therefore, 60 districts multiplied by 2 000 tonnes we get 120 000 tonnes. 

“The social welfare demand is 37 000 tonnes of grain monthly and currently they are distributing 17 000 to 18 000 tonnes.”

Dr Masuka said this irrigation concept would meet three quarters of the social welfare requirement to reduce the burden on Government.

Irrigable area under various schemes in the country is 26 000 hectares.

“Given the statistics, we are able to produce at five tonnes per hectare,” he said. “We get 130 000 tonnes of maize from smallholder irrigation schemes. There is no way we will beg for grain.

“We need someone to organise farmers so that we prepare for this transformation to improve our lives. I see sorry looking crops at this scheme. We still have a problem with scheme outline, scheme governance, viability and sustainability.”

Dr Masuka said Government would provide Nyamuseve irrigation scheme with a manager for two years to assist in running its affairs.

The scheme has 74 plot holders with five hectares each, started in 2000 and is falling short in production.

Chairperson of the scheme Mr Gracia Muzava said their major challenge was lack of support in tilling and access to inputs.

“This year we only managed to get Presidential support through Pfumvudza,” he said. “We don’t have farming equipment and it’s a tall order tilling 50 hectares manually.” 

 Zimbabwe National Water Aurhority (Zinwa) chief executive Engineer Taurai Maurikira said the local dam was too small to support irrigation activities and there was need to draw water from Negomo Dam to augment supplies at the irrigation scheme.

“The scheme has 300 hectares and its dam has a 900 mega litres water capacity,” he said. 

“The dam capacity can only support 60 hectares, a quarter of the water requirements. The scheme needs about 4,5 million cubic litres of water and Negomo Dam has four million cubic litres of water.”