By Nita Karume ,
The Zimbabwe government, together with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), recently unveiled plans of a US $200 000 project to rehabilitate two major irrigation schemes. This is with a view to enhance food security in the usually dry district of Zaka in Zimbabwe.
The two irrigation schemes; Nyatare and Mabvute irrigation scheme have a combined 120 hectares. The former draws its water from Nyatare Dam, while Mabvute draws its water from the nearby Mabvute dam.
Upon completion of the rehabilitation exercise, the villagers in Zaka East are projected to have food security as well as a boost in disposable income. Zaka District Agritex officer Mr Kennedy Pedzisai said the rehabilitation of the two schemes was in line with Government’s Command Agriculture program. He further added that FAO provided equipment for the project, with Government providing labor.
According to Mr. Pedzisai, the two irrigation schemes will benefit smallholder farmers across the district. Moreover, equipment such as centre pivots, water pumps and fence will soon be delivered at their different locations. This, he says, will pave the way for the start of the rehabilitation exercise.
Mr. Pedzisai also explained that the main objective of the schemes’ rehabilitation is to help the communities living around them as well as the plot holders achieve food self-sufficiency. This, he says, will ultimately improve their living standards. For instance plot holders at Nyatare have since started production of maize and sugar beans.
Meanwhile, Mr. Prdzisai hinted that the government would soon start setting up two new irrigation schemes in Nhema communal lands. The scheme are to use water from a nearby Siya Dam that bisects Zaka and Bikita districts.
Presently, the water from Siya Dam is being used for irrigation at Fuve-Panganai Irrigation Scheme. Here the plot holders have transformed their lives through hybrid maize seed production for both the local and export market.