By Mercy Bofu
More than 20 000 hectares of land have been identified for a massive irrigation project in Chiredzi which is expected to improve livelihoods and ensure the country is food secure.
This comes as government moves towards increasing irrigated area to about 350 000 hectares in the next three.
Dr Anxious Masuka, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, spoke of the need to include the locals in developmental programmes.
“Today we are doing a tour to see the Baffalo Range, Banga and Chilonga interacting with the leadership that they can also be part of this exciting development where they will be able to get increased incomes from participating in commercial agriculture, facilitated by these massive irrigation development projects.”
The necessary consultative process will be carried out with the local community set to benefit.
“The project mainly is going to benefit community members and clause 12 of the communal lands act says that an individual affected by this development is going to be compensated despite those people being beneficiaries,” said Local Government and Public Works Minister, Honourable July Moyo.
The people of Masvingo have taken a keen interest in such irrigation projects based on the vast water bodies in the province.
Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Honourable Ezra Chadzamira said, “We are pleased with the programme and from here we are engaging the relevant stakeholders so that we work as a team with the same vision.”
Masvingo province has more than 50 percent of the country’s dam water and the government is working on an integrated development plan to ensure full utilisation of the dam water.