Govt in irrigation drive to mitigate drought

Dr Made

Dr Made

Elita Chikwati Agriculture Reporter
GOVERNMENT will beginning next farming season provide farmers living near water sources with irrigation equipment, implements and inputs as it takes practical steps towards ensuring national food security.

The thrust is on empowering farmers to overcome the adverse effects of the low and erratic rainfall, mid season droughts, extending the growing seasons and to unlock the value of both crops and livestock.

Addressing the Joint Command Staff Number 29 students at the Zimbabwe Staff College yesterday, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister, Dr Joseph Made said farmers would be supplied with new pumps, centre pivots, hose reels, drip and mini sprinkler irrigation systems.

Government would also rehabilitate and replace old pumps, broken piping systems, reconnect electricity and introduce renewable low costs energy sources to improve reliability of irrigation systems in all existing dams and major rivers.

“Irrigation development is a key component of the Zim-Asset and the 10 point plan.

Government has taken a strategic decision not only to ensure production of raw materials for the manufacturing industry, but also to ensure household and national food security.

“The irrigation equipment will enable farmers to produce crops throughout the year with other areas producing maize twice a year. In the Lowveld, farmers will be able to produce maize two and half times per year. All farmers will benefit whether one is from the A1 or A2 sector as long as they are nearer water sources.

The equipment would not be given for free, but as a loan,” he said.

Dr Made said irrigation development had been hampered by challenges like high operational costs, poor servicing and repair of old pumping units and piping systems that forced many schemes into disuse.

He said inadequate farm irrigation funding had resulted in low farm irrigation infrastructure development with only 50 percent of the existing dams serving farming communities for irrigation purposes.

Government is promoting mechanisation through supply of more affordable and appropriate farming machinery and equipment including tractors, ploughs, disc harrows, fertiliser spreaders and knapsack sprayers as well as establishing repair and servicing centres.

The medium to long term farm infrastructure capacity building strategies will be focusing on fencing, farm storage curing and livestock handling, among others.

Government has declared 2015 /16 a drought season.

The crop and livestock assessment is underway and is expected to reveal levels of immediate food assistance and livestock feed mitigation measures for every district, reinforce short term measures to secure additional grain in response to demand for more food until the next harvest, and take appropriate measures to mitigate the adverse effects of global warming.

“We have had rains in the past few days, but they may not be of any use to crops in most areas, but are important in terms of water for irrigation and pastures.

“The distribution of the rains this season has been very poor and this is across the SADC region,” said Dr Made.

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  • Wilson Magaya

    A noble idea but driven by the wrong actor. It is not government’s role to give nor provide irrigation supplies to people. After supporting the building of the dams and putting in place policies for the use of the water government needs to support local industries driven by locals partnering globally for technology and know how, that develop from idea to product, equipment for agriculture productivity. Irrigation is hampered by the fact that we import everything and we have policies that tend to marginalize the local innovations. An example is tysek!!!! Lets be BOLD and accept that we are failing and we need a rethink of the agricultural sector to ensure that we support the over 75% of Zimbabwe that lives directly off the land. We need to build entrepreneurship around the most basic day to day activities of our people and re-engineer the whole value chain so that Zimbabweans industrialize our country to meet the needs of our people. “PEOPLE are key” Nyika Vanhu, Musha Matare” Lets get Zimbabweans involved in crafting their future. ACTION creates MIRACLES….

  • Idiot

    Shinga mushandi shinga

  • Weku Mash West/Best

    Firing blanks again Mr Made. Maybe good as Mudhomeni kwete strategist we Agricultural sector. Are the people sitting on those farms close to irrigation facilities and resources able farmers???? Most of them cannot grow any crops with all resources in place. Audit first. Cut size of farmers. Monitor each region and set targets. Some of us were denied land/farms tozoawana rini???

  • mhepo

    And task Grace Mugabe to go round distributing the equipment. Lovely stuff Minister! Very hardworking indeed! Gore rinouya tinokohwa chete. Zim-asset woo yee

  • chinos

    Mr Prez fire this man who does not have any ideas. He is hurting our agriculture

  • karombe

    do we get solace in the fact that sadc region is drought stricken? apa minister panoda kuti muve aggressive in your approach. tiudzei measures you are taking step by step and it should be visible on the ground, not these blanket statements none can follow.

  • Collin Mackenzie

    So true a bunch of farm raiders.
    I know of a well established and we’ll run dairy farm that has been turned into a veggie garden.
    A dairy farm now grows veggies that everyone can grow on small holdings.
    Shame maaaan.

  • Collin Mackenzie

    Please take that money a fix the roads and infrastructure and you will have a much better Zimbabwe.

    Stupid maaaaan wena giving people free things that they don’t value or pay tax.
    At least from the roads you collect toll fees and other related costs..

    Where are ur brains you think we all freaking farmers or War Vets .

    Losser of note marara chete chete all talk 2018 is around and we shall ask your sorry fat faces what did you do.

    Vostek maaaaan.

  • Collin Mackenzie

    Oh Zimbabwean ministers are all full of character and directionless and big talk.

    No action plan nor accountability fix those roads

    Herald never wrights about the state of our roads what a shame.
    Fire that minister of roads please I’m begging you or maybe I should just fire the idot myself.

  • Zvichapera

    Do not continue to spread falsehoods. The so called Government presided over the destruction of the irrigation infrastructure across the country and it is too dumb and corrupt to restore it. We need a new order, a new government with a vision of construction. This government has visions of destroying. I can list all the destruction to date, but will leave it for another day, when possibly there is light in Zimbabwe.