Irrigation development breathes life into agriculture

By Tendai Munengwa

THE Accelerated Irrigation Development Policy continues to bear fruit, with government installing efficient center pivots in various parts of the country to offset the effects of climate change.

Driving along the country’s greenbelts gives one a clear picture that the accelerated irrigation development drive has transformed the agricultural landscape from manual irrigation to highly mechanised and efficient center pivots.

The high level of production, which has seen farmers breaking winter wheat targets, also bears testimony to how the Second Republic is working round the clock to develop irrigation and ensure sustainable food security.

“Since the coming in of accelerated irrigation development, we have seen over 7 000 hectares of land put under irrigation out of target of 12 000. So we are happy that results in the record breaking wheat hectarage of 78 000 hectares this season is evident of the success story of our irrigation policy,” said the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Hon Anxious Masuka.

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development has embarked on a massive accelerated irrigation development around major dams.

“We have major dams and we will be launching a new concept where we set up irrigation projects around every dam,” he added.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been impressed by the development of the country’s irrigation system as he alluded to during the commissioning of an agriculture innovation hub at Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology last Friday.

We are happy with our agriculture development and I commend the way farmers have transformed. We have, for the first time hit record breaking hectarage of wheat and this shows that our policies are bearing fruit,” noted the President.

Under the Accelerated Irrigation Development Policy, government is targeting to put 350 000 hectares under irrigation by 2025.