Zhove greenbelt project takes shape

By Innocent Nxumalo
THE government’s vision of having a greenbelt from Zhove to Beitbridge is finally shaping up as private players come on board to maximise a huge under-utilised water body in Matabeleland South Province.
Speaking during a tour of Top Pick Irrigation project this Thursday, Vice President Retired General Dr Constantino Chiwenga said COVID-19 has been a wake-up call for the developing world to be self-reliant and produce most of their consumption needs.
“Matabeleland South is endowed with abundant under utilised water resources and good soils with vast potential for cropping under irrigation…Through water-saving technologies Zhove dam can support irrigation up to 10 000 hectares….,” he said.
Vice president Chiwenga also underscored the need to mitigate against the negative impact of climate change by embracing traditional grains.
“As a government we have set the prices of traditional grains above producer price of maize to attract even A2 farmers… We welcome the involvement of development partners who have taken a key interest in the production of traditional grains,” he said.
The Vice President applauded Top Pick Investments for pursuing value-addition by setting up a milling plant and an abattoir on site and highlighted that beneficiation of products will ensure the profitability of the sector.
With his entourage consisting of ministers and senior government officials, Vice President Chiwenga concluded his Matabeleland South province tour by visiting ARDA Antelope estate in Matobo where he encouraged farmers to do their best to ensure the success of the winter wheat programme which has a national target of 85 000 hectares.