Mashonaland West Bureau
Small-scale farmers in Mhangura have used proceeds from the sale of Pfumvudza/ Intwasa and Command Agriculture Schemes produce to sink private boreholes to ensure they have good supplies of water for their homes and farms.
At least 140 A1 farmers in the area sunk boreholes sunk as they seek to move away from dependency on rain-fed agriculture, to irrigation. This will enable more farmers will venture into the lucrative horticulture sector, that has transformed the lives of many farmers.
Critically, sinking boreholes will also see communities getting clean water, a development that is in sync with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number Six, which focuses on clean, accessible water for all.
Ms Margaret Mawadze (49) of Dichwe Village in Mhangura’s Ward 4, who has been on her six-hectare plot for almost two decades, said she decided to have a borehole drilled to start a horticulture business.
“I used some of the money that I realised from the sale of my crops to sink this borehole. I decided to invest in water following water challenges,” she said.
“Apart from having interests in horticulture, my family and other villagers have been surviving on unprotected wells, which are a threat to peoples’ health,” said the widow while monitoring her 2-hectare garden where she is growing vegetables and beans.
She called on other A1 farmers to invest in water as weather patterns now require farmers to desist from relying on rain-fed agriculture if they are to boost yields.
Another farmer, Mr Thomas Mudhirisa (44), who has a thriving roadrunner chicken rearing business from the same area, said he decided to invest in a borehole following the receding water levels from a nearby water source.
“We used to access water from a source some 2km away which has since dried up. While we hope for the Government to drill more boreholes for us, we should also shake-off the dependency syndrome as farmers and desist from waiting on the Government after receiving land.
“In addition, my six-hectare plot is becoming small for me and my family, hence the borehole is going to expand the area to 12 hectares and use it all-year round for at least two crops,” said Mr Mudhirisa.
Mr Lancelot Dawa, an A2 from Mhangura who recently drilled two boreholes at his Highbury Farm for livestock and crops, said the national economy was anchored on agriculture, hence farmers needed to invest in water.
Ward 4 Councillor, Mr Anywhere Murimbika, who has been rallying farmers in his area to invest in boreholes, said the positive response has addressed water challenges that have been bedevilling farmers to provide their livestock with water.
“Farmers who have drilled boreholes at their farms are now able to provide their livestock with water thrice a day,” he said.
Water expert and Resken Constructors’ director Mr Respect Hlatywayo, whose company has been drilling boreholes in the area, said most farmers were failing to maximise use of their land.
“We are working with farmers and help remove the dependency syndrome through providing flexible payment terms. Farmers shouldn’t wait for central Government to provide water all the time.
“I am a contractor with equipment. Farmers should use their land and produce. They need to invest in boreholes as part of supporting the Government’s efforts of emancipating the black majority,” he said.
At least 153 farmers have drilled boreholes at their farms since February this year, the majority being small-scale farmers.