Invest in irrigation development, private sector urged Professor Obert Jiri

Precious Manomano Herald Reporter

THE Government has called for private sector participation in irrigation schemes to boost yields during the prolonged dry spells and spur economic growth.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Permanent Secretary Professor Obert Jiri said irrigation schemes are critical in mitigating the effects of climate change, turning communities into green belts, and enhancing national food security.

“Irrigation is the critical component that needs to be accelerated especially during this time of drought. Companies should come on board because Government alone cannot do it. We need partnerships. Our target is to ensure that non-functional irrigation schemes are rehabilitated. This will allow us to produce more food hence our salvation is in irrigation,” he said.

Presently, 331 irrigation schemes that irrigate 15 000ha are functional out of 460 irrigation schemes needed for the whole country to cover 26 000ha.

Rehabilitation and construction of irrigation schemes across the country is continuing and the Government is aiming to rehabilitate 45 irrigation schemes and construct five new ones this year.

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