Lukosi irrigation scheme a lifeline

By Mhlomuli Ncube

LUKOSI Irrigation Scheme in Hwange has become a major success story in a dry district, with its flourishing maize crop now at maturity stage.

“Nokubona kwedusu ivhura yakanayo zvayo zubhodu but we tried our best. Siledamu elisincedisa ngamanzi so todhilila everytime, (Even though it did not rain properly we are okay. We have a dam that helps us in irrigating our crop, so we water everytime),” said one farmer, Mrs Bernita Mathe.

This is testimony from an irrigation scheme where 73 plot-holders are defying the odds and proving that the days of depending on rain-fed agriculture are long gone.

The 31-hectare area has maize, beans and citrus under cultivation, with members happy that making use of irrigation has proofed them from unreliable rainfall patterns.

“Zvilimwa zvedu zvinoboneka kuti tinozama mubuthela, (the plants show that we try our best)” said Mrs Ottiliah Sibanda another farmer.

Out of the total 73 scheme members, 69 are women.

The farmers grow for both their own consumption and selling.

In a year where rains were not received to the satisfaction of many farmers across the country, the irrigation scheme, whose water supply comes from the nearby Kalope dam, has become a lifeline to the Lukosi community in Hwange district.