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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Kanyemba set to bloom from irrigation

Story by Tapiwa Machemedze

GOVERNMENT has availed massive resources in the transformation of Kanyemba into a green belt following the installation of 11 centre pivots and a solar plant to power irrigation activities.

Implementation of the rural transformation strategy targeting 200 hectares of irrigated crops per district is in full swing in Kanyemba, Mbire district.

A tour of the project by senior government officials on Friday revealed the solar power plant installation is 90 percent complete while the connection of irrigation facilities is at 60 percent completion.

“I am disappointed that the project is not complete, I am happy though that we are edging closer to completion, there are outstanding works in terms of underground piping that still require to be done. In the interim, we have deployed an ARDA irrigation scheme business manager and in the second season they harvested 300 tonnes of sorghum and 76 tonnes of maize for which the 400 beneficiaries have now begun to enjoy,” said the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development, Dr. Anxious Masuka.

Phase one of the Kanyemba Irrigation Project entails the setting up a 176-hectare community business project and phase two will see a commercial larger project run separately on 3000 hectares.

“This project will go a long way in improving the GDP of the province considering that Kanyemba is a dry region and by this project, people will be able to irrigate and get better yields from their fields. It will also cushion government in terms of support that it offers to the locals as people will be able to sustain their food security,” said Mashonaland Central Minister of Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Christopher Magomo.

The projects have generated excitement in the community which is already conducting dryland trials for sesame production to complement traditional grains production in collaboration with the Agriculture Rural Development Authority (ARDA).

“We are doing a trial project on sesame to see whether it can be produced here in Kanyemba and we are working in collaboration with ARDA, so they sourced the seeds for 20 hectares and asked the members to come on board,” said one of the community members.

Another added, “We have hope that once projects are moving forward the problem of hunger will be reduced and we will no longer need to rely on transport to move grain from the GMB which is located 105 kilometres away. Our food security will improve immensely.”

Utilising abundant water from the Zambezi River, the government is targeting phase one of the Kanyemba Irrigation Project to be operational this year thereby boosting Mbire district’s food security.

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