BY OBERT SIAMILANDU
FARMERS in Chiredzi, Masvingo province are set to benefit from a farmer-to-farmer programme supported by USAid Zimbabwe in partnership with Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA).
The programme will train communities, co-operatives, agribusinesses and educational institutions to grow crops that have the potential of improving their lives and enhance food security in the semi-arid district vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change.
CNFA farmer-to-farmer volunteer, Brent van Dyke last week spent 12 days at Nyangambe Irrigation Scheme training 45 small-holder farmers in crop water demands, irrigation scheduling and general water management.
“Because of increased drought conditions in Zimbabwe, many small-holder farmers are struggling with providing for their families,” van Dyke told Southern Eye.
“My assignment with the CNFA Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) programme focuses on the Nyangambe Irrigation Scheme, and involves an on-site assessment of local natural resources, including the availability of future irrigation water and recommending best practices for improving water management in the scheme,” he added.
CNFA country director Godfrey Nehanda said F2F programmes brought volunteers from the US to teach local farmers.
“We have done training in marketing, value addition, livestock health and nutrition, agronomic practices and government institutional training. F2F is targeting smallholder farmers in Bikita, Chiredzi and Chipinge districts. Special attention is being given to members of irrigation schemes,” Cryton Zazu, the USAid Resilience ANCHORS project director said. Other USAid funded projects in Chiredzi include FARM, Amalima Loko and Takunda.