By Wellington Makonese
Government’s small-scale community irrigation scheme drive is reaping rewards, with the Chimhanda community of Rushinga attesting to socio-economic transformation in their constituency.
Chimhanda Irrigation Scheme is now into its 3rd decade of existence and farmers who have been faithful to the cause are earning a living out of it.
Since its inception, the farmers have been adjusting to emerging irrigation trends, practicing mixed farming methods from maize, wheat and horticultural produce all year round.
Beneficiaries, some of whom have grown with the irrigation project, have managed to develop their homesteads and acquire cattle, while others managed to send children to secondary school and others to university, as well as engage in viable agricultural projects.
Chimhanda Irrigation Scheme vice chairperson Vengai Bendepende was educated out of proceeds from the scheme and has become one of its leading testimonies of the longevity.
“Some of the children do not even want to look for jobs outside saying they can earn a living out of it. Looking at our economy, they feel being self-employed actually pays better,” he said.
Rushinga legislator Honourable Tendai Nyabani is confident of the impact of agriculture in the arid area.
“This year is quite promising people managed to harvest. Now we wish to have more irrigation schemes and we can see the President’s Vision 2030 progressing and being attainable.”
Government is pushing for subsistence farmers to go commercial through the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy which is anchored on establishment of viable irrigation schemes across all districts in the country.