Sydney Mubaiwa in ZAKA
Villagers here are set to benefit from five revived irrigation schemes expected to boost food security and household income in the drought-stricken district.
The irigation schemes were rehabilitated by the Government in partnership with Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
Zaka District Development Coordinator (DDC) Mr Ndeya Nyede said the development of irrigation farming was a game changer in ongoing efforts to stimulate household food security.
“Efforts by Government and development partners like FAO will go a long way to help improve food security and boost incomes for communities around Zaka district as there is now scope for them to grow crops all year round,” he said.
“The Zaka community was at the mercy of droughts every year and we want to applaud Government and its partners for coming up with the idea to rehabilitate irrigation schemes.
“So far about 35 hectares at Fuve -Panganai irrigation scheme have been put under irrigation under contract farming with the Zimbabwe Super Seeds,” said Mr Nyede.
He implored the local community to take care of the irrigation equipment to avoid breakdowns and vandalism.
“People have a tendency of abusing donor-funded projects by vandalising property and stealing some items for personal use at their homesteads. The irrigation equipment at the schemes is no longer Government property nor the development partners’ property as it is not set to benefit FAO but to benefit you and your families,” said Mr Nyede.
Zaka District Agritex officer Mr Kennedy Pedzisai said the rehabilitation of irrigation schemes aims to improve household food security and the livelihoods for Zaka and surrounding a communities as well as assisting smallholder farmers.
“Zaka district is characterised by low and unpredictable rainfall patterns which reduces farmers’ capability to harvest meaningful yields that are adequate for household consumption.
“We hope that the community members with the rehabilitation of the irrigation schemes will become food secure and have nutritious foods for their children’s consumption.
“Some farmers are under contract farming with Kacholo Foods Limitted and Zimbabwe Super Seeds Food and they are producing because they are getting fertilisers, seed and chemicals.
“This initiative was made to assist farmers and ensure they start to produce and create market linkages with suppliers already in the market.
“The farmers and their children will benefit through improved nutrition and household income,” said Mr Pedzisai.
The Zaka community applauded the Government and development partner’s efforts in bringing in a life line to the drought-stricken area.
Plans are afoot to expand the Fuve -Panganai irrigation scheme and introduce modern irrigation technologies such as centre pivots and mobile irrigators.
Zaka District has slowly developed into an irrigation hub, with the availability of water from major dams like Bangala, Manjerenje and Siya.