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Monday, May 27, 2024

Nyahombe Irrigation Scheme commissioned

Story by Gay Matambo

THE Government has confirmed that it will continue to strengthen rural communities resilience and adaptation in the face of climate change through the establishment of irrigation schemes.

Chivi district in Masvingo Province has been affected by frequent droughts and prolonged mid-season dry spells in the past three decades because of climate change leaving irrigation as the only viable option.

This has seen the government intervening through the Public Sector Investment Programme, where irrigation schemes like Nyahombe which has a total of 80 hectares are benefitting 68 farmers.

Beneficiaries of the irrigation scheme, which is the first to utilise the Tugwi Mukosi dam for irrigation are looking forward to the future with hope after the commissioning of the irrigation scheme this Thursday.

Nyahombe Irrigation Scheme is under the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) Management Model where it operates as a company with the farmers being shareholders.

“We want farmers to be able to take farming as a business, and we want irrigation schemes to create sustainable business hubs for rural communities and the block system is surely the way to go,” said ARDA chief executive officer, Mr Tinotenda Mhiko.

Plans are underway to expand the irrigation scheme by 100 hectares under the Green Climate Fund.

“Nyahombe is fully government funded and it is the first to utilise Tugwi Mukosi waters. Furthermore, feasibility studies are ongoing for the Gororo irrigation scheme that will irrigate a total of 300hacters as an initial development,” said Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Ezra Chadzamira.

After commissioning the Nyahombe Irrigation Scheme, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Dr Anxious Masuka urged beneficiaries to set a good example of the benefits of irrigation development.

“There is a great need for irrigation schemes to take advantage of financed programmes at their disposal to improve production and productivity,” he said.

Masvingo Province has 70 communal irrigation schemes with a total of 3 900 hectares of irrigated land, benefitting 7 800 families.

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