Government speaks on drought

By Tendai Munengwa

THE government is rolling out a consolidated Climate Proof Irrigation Development plan as part of efforts to mitigate the effects of recurrent drought and ensure food security in the country.

With the nation concerned that the dry spell which hit the country for the second time this summer season might signal a national drought, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development minister, Dr Anxious Masuka said a final assessment is underway.

“We are doing the last round on the impact of the dry spells, but the government is also rolling a massive consolidated climate-proof agenda which will see the Pfumvudza/ Intwasa concept and national irrigation developments being accelerated to mitigate against these recurring dry spell,” he said.

Minister Masuka said efficient water conservation systems will be implemented, while the construction of more dams for irrigation is a top priority for the government.

“We have communal farmers who are still using flood irrigation. We will be phasing out such systems and in view of big irrigation used by big farmers, we want to ensure that such systems are efficient so that every drop counts,” added Hon. Masuka.

Under the consolidated climate-proof, the government is targeting to boost irrigation area from the current 250 000 to 350 000 as weather experts predict poor rainfall patterns from 2025 going forward.