Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development deputy Minister responsible for cropping Davis Marapira said Government has partnered with a local investor to rehabilitate irrigation schemes in Masvingo, some that have not been functional in the last five years.
He said once completed, more than 100 families who are part of the irrigation schemes will be registered for command agriculture. One of the irrigation schemes to be rehabilitated will be Stanmore Irrigation in Masvingo North.
“We have a local investor who has offered to rehabilitate and revamp our irrigation schemes in the province. The investor has done the feasibility study at Stanmore Irrigation scheme.
He has offered to secure all the equipment for the pumping station and pipes at an estimated cost of about $150 000. Once the equipment is sought the installation will take 30 days.
The beneficiaries will be provided with inputs through Command Agriculture since there is readily available water from Mutirikwi River.”
Apart from Stanmore, he said other irrigation schemes that would be covered are Hwendedzo and Gadzingo Irrigation schemes.
He said however, there was massive siltation along Mutirikwi River which might affect the water to be used for irrigation.
Deputy Minister Marapira said the Government would soon move all illegal settlers in the area to pave way for de-siltation exercise which would increase the carrying capacity of the river.
The Government is promoting Command Agriculture which is aimed at producing two million tonnes of maize on 400 000 hectares of land annually for the nation.
Under the programme, about 2 000 farmers will be given inputs and irrigation equipment but will be required to give five tonnes per hectare to Government as repayment.
Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said the country would engage private banks so that they could finance the importation of farming equipment from Brazil, Belarus, Russia and India under the programme aimed at enhancing grain production in the country.-Sundaynews