Consultations continue on Chilonga lucerne project

By Mercy Bofu

The government continues to engage community leaders in Chiredzi for a massive Lucerne project in Chilonga area.

Meanwhile, the Chiredzi Rural District Council has thrown its weight behind the project, with Council Chairman Edward Matsilele saying they are excited about the anticipated benefits from the project.

“As Chiredzi RDC we are fully aware of the many benefits at the commercial crops such as Lucerne that is why we engaged community leaders and we recommended for the setting aside of communal land for development of Chilonga Phase 3 irrigation scheme.”

It is important that community leaders relay correct information about government’s developmental projects and intentions.

Addressing the community, the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable July Moyo emphasised government’s commitment to ensuring the locals are not prejudiced and remain the primary beneficiaries of the lucerne project.

“The law stipulates that I should demarcate the land that is earmarked for irrigation. As we plan we have agreed that no one will be forcibly moved to pave way for the project, but a few will be relocated to facilitate developments while government pays for their resettlement in the same area because the project is theirs,” said the Minister.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Anxious Masuka revealed that government is working on a pastures greenbelt to boost livestock production.

He said, “With climate change, the pastures have lost the luster. We are working on pastures greenbelts and you as communities will be able to formulate your own feed all these to enhance livestock nutrition.”

Government has taken a phased approach to develop 12 900 hectares in Chilonga with the first stage targeting to expand the existing Chilonga irrigation to 2 000 hectares.

The second phase will see another 2 000 hectares developed for community projects and phase 3 is for Lucerne grass.

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