By Runyararo Muzavazi and Kudakwashe Mhundwa
The seed industry has implored Government to invest more in irrigation development and mechanisation to ensure consistent agricultural production throughout the year.
This comes at a time when Government has introduced the multi-million-dollar Command Agriculture programme aimed at boosting agricultural yields.
Zimbabwe has an estimated 206 000 hectares of agricultural land under irrigation, but irrigable land has to be doubled to ensure food security even in cases of low rainfall.
“Irrigation is needed to supplement rain water to raise crops in the dry part of the season,” said Seed Co Zimbabwe managing director Mr Denias Zaranyika during a tour by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development at Rattray Arnold Research Station recently.
“Given the unpredictability of weather patterns owing to climate change, it is important that as a country we make significant investments in irrigation facilities.”
Mr Zaranyika said farming required investment in irrigation and mechanisation.
Government is targeting to develop irrigation facilities for 2,5 million hectares, which it says will take between 25 to 50 years at a cost of $10,5 billion.