BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) chief executive Rockie Mutenha has urged farmers at Insukamini irrigation scheme in Lower Gweru to embark on crop diversification in order to benefit more from the project.
Speaking this week during the tour of the irrigation scheme, Mutenha said GMB was ready to assist the farmers access inputs as well as setting up a collection point in the event farmers increased their yields.
“I have noticed that you mainly grow maize and beans at this scheme,” Mutenha said.
“You need to expand your crop range here. As GMB, we buy a wide of range of crops and you, therefore, need to include wheat, round nuts, cow peas, soya beans and sunflowers in your project.”
Mutenha added: “If your harvest is big here, we can establish a collection point so that you don’t face transport challenges. As farmers, you can also get presidential and command agriculture inputs through GMB.”
Speaking at the same occasion an Agricultural Rural Development Authority (ARDA) representative, Washington Katiyo also advised the farmers to work with ARDA for the development of the irrigation scheme, including value addition of their produce.
Insukamini irrigation scheme is one of the biggest agriculture projects in Lower Gweru directly benefitting more than 120 households.
The irrigation scheme was established in 1988 and has seen many families surviving on the project.
Lower Gweru like most areas in the Midlands province is prone to drought and irrigation farming has been a major source of sustaining livelihoods in the community.