By Jerold Sasa
Government’s national irrigation development strategy has received a boost, with more than 20 farmers from Macheke benefiting from a peas out-grower scheme through a United Kingdom Trade Partnership Programme.
The scheme has seen 22 farmers from Nyamakaira Irrigation Scheme in Macheke increasing production while also getting access to markets through a local company, City Circle Private limited.
“We are happy with this programme which has revitalised our productivity,” one farmer said.
Another remarked: “We can now send our children to school as we are now making money through organised markets.”
The programme has been described as a game-changer in the country’s horticulture production.
“We are currently operating in five provinces as we seek to capacitate our farmers,” said Horticulture consultant, Dananai Matondo.
A British embassy official, David Gate said: “As the British embassy we will continue to support the smallholder farmers so that they have access to export market.”
“We are here to provide handling facilities to the farmers that they increase their quality if crop when harvested,” City Circle Pack director, Stanley Heri said.
Leonard Munamati from Agritex said: “As government, we are quite excited about this initiative which will improve production in our irrigation schemes.”
The farmers, who are growing peas on half hectare pieces of land are also benefitting from technical expertise, access to funding, handling facilities and export markets.
The out grower programme is being implemented in Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Midlands and Manicaland provinces.