Rehabilitated Banga Irrigation Scheme benefits 300 farmers

By Mercy Bofu

Nearly 300 farmers in Chivi are benefitting from the rehabilitation of Banga Irrigation Scheme by government and its partners under the Smallholder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme.

This comes as government seeks to ensure food security and rural development, with work underway to rehabilitate all non-functional irrigation schemes across the country to ensure they are operated viably.

Speaking at the commissioning of Banga Irrigation Scheme, which was rehabilitated under the Smallholder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister, Dr Anxious Masuka said they are targeting to ensure all 450 irrigation schemes countrywide become functional and productive.

“Together with our development partners, we are rehabilitating all our irrigation schemes to enhance agri-business activities,” Dr Masuka said.

Given the abundant water bodies in Masvingo, more than 70 000 hectares is targeted for irrigation.

Honorable Ezra Chadzamira, Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister noted: “Our government considered the food security situation in Masvingo province and came up with a plan to rehabilitate all irrigation schemes, because we have enough water.”

The rehabilitation of Banga Irrigation Scheme in Chivi is already benefiting nearly 300 farmers.

“We used to farm 20 hectares only per season, but now we have increased to 60 hectares. This will greatly transform our livelihoods,” a farmer in the area noted.

Under the Smallholder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme, government is working with the International Fund for Agriculture Development and OPEC Fund For International Development.