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ARDA Muzarabani implements irrigation boost with four centre pivots

ARDA Muzarabani implements irrigation boost with four centre pivots

Story by Tapiwa Machemedze

GOVERNMENT has breathed life into the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) Muzarabani Estate after installing centre pivots covering 90 hectares in line with the national response to climate change.

The Installation of four new centre pivots under the Pedstock Irrigation facility where 160 hectares of crops comprising sorghum, cotton and sunflower are being planted this season is set to revitalise ARDA Muzarabani estates.

The move is part of countrywide efforts to climate-proof agriculture by rehabilitating and expanding the total land size under irrigation.

“At peak, we expect that the 390 hectares that are irrigable and arable will be brought into production. This is in line with the government’s thrust to rejuvenate and transform ARDA so that it becomes a food security agent for the nation. As you may be aware, ARDA is currently enrolling 100 000 hectares under the ARDA joint venture programme so that ARDA can produce in terms of our strategy 500 000 metric tonnes of serial year in year out,” said the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development, Dr. Anxious Masuka.

ARDA Muzarabani revitalisation is being complemented by the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme which also targets to climate-proof agriculture at the household level.

In Mashonaland Central, 6 900 hectares of land has been put under Pfumvudza so far.

Mashonaland Central Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Christopher Magomo said, “So far, the situation is good as planting is ongoing. Pfumvudza is performing well in the province. Of course, we experienced late rains and this affected planting and even the germination rate but for now, it seems rains have come and everyone is busy planting and we are very happy. We are also happy for ARDA as the minister has come on board to capacitate it, especially our Muzarabani estate.”

Meanwhile, women at Drumada farm in Muzarabani are benefitting immensely from adopting Pfumvudza/Intwasa in the wake of a lean rainfall season.

“Pfumvudza is doing wonders for us, we are learning at this demo plot and going on to implement what we learn at our homes,” said one of the women.

Another added, “We are happy, we ask that you uplift us so that our project continues to grow.”

85.6 % of targeted maize has so far been planted in Mashonaland Central as well as 83.9 % of sorghum to meet the government-recommended 10 January deadline for planting summer crops this season.

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