By Sydney Mubaiwa in Zaka
Government, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), has embarked on a $200 000 project to rehabilitate two major irrigation schemes in Zaka to enhance food security in the usually dry district.
The project will see the revival of Nyatare and Mabvute irrigation schemes, which have a combined 120 hectares.
Nyatare draws its water from Nyatare Dam, while Mabvute draws its water from the nearby Mabvute dam.
Upon completion of the rehabilitation exercise, hundreds of villagers in Zaka East are expected to benefit in terms of food security and a boost in disposable income. Zaka District Agritex officer Mr Kennedy Pedzisai said rehabilitation of the two schemes was in line with Government’s Command Agriculture programme. He said FAO provided equipment for the project, with Government providing labour.
“The two irrigation schemes will benefit smallholder farmers across the district and very soon equipment such as centre pivots, water pumps and fence will be delivered paving the way for the start of the rehabilitation exercise,” he said.
Mr Pedzisai said plot holders at Nyatare had started production of maize and sugar beans.
“We are very happy that FAO is committed to extend a helping hand in the rehabilitation of irrigation schemes in Zaka and equipping our farmers with the requisite farming skills to boost yields at the two schemes,” he said.
Government, said Mr Pedzisai, would soon start setting up two new irrigation schemes in Nhema communal lands using water from the underutilised Siya Dam that bisects Zaka and Bikita districts.
Water from Siya Dam is being used for irrigation at Fuve-Panganai Irrigation Scheme where plot holders have transformed their lives through hybrid maize seed production for both the local and export market.