More irrigated land for Muchekeranwa community
Victor Maphosa-Mashonaland East Bureau
The area of irrigated land at Muchekeranwa Dam will be more than tripled from 60ha to 200ha by Government to ensure all who had to be moved and resettled so the dam could be built benefit from the irrigation that resulted.
Some of those already resettled had planted wheat last year and now maize, with authorities saying the crop is now at maturity stage.
Acting director Agricultural and Rural Development Services for Mashonaland East province Mr Learnard Munamati said the development at Muchekeranwa irrigation scheme was a fulfilment of his Ministry’s Going4Growth policy.
“We are witnessing the fulfilment of the Ministry mantra, Going4Growth2023 at Muchekeranwa irrigation scheme,” he said.
“The first 30ha planted under the pivot is now at maturity stage and looking very good. The 2nd batch of 25ha is also in good condition at the vegetative stage. There is good weed and insect pest control.
“Farmers benefitting from the scheme were resettled close to the dam after having been displaced due to dam construction. An extra 15ha of land has been prepared for planting of beans. The uniqueness of this project is the close relationship among government departments in the Ministry, Marondera University of Agricultural Science and Technology, ARDA, AFC and farmers.
“We hope to increase area under irrigation from 60ha to 90ha next season and then to over 200ha.”
The beneficiaries are being trained by agriculture experts from the Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences Technology (MUAST) and also from Government’s Agricultural Advisory and Rural Development Services.
The gesture by Government has received commendations from the beneficiaries, who thanked, especially the President for remembering them in rural Marondera.
Mr Ngonidzashe Chidhuwa, who benefitted from the project, commended Government for the gesture.
“As a youth, I am happy with what our Government has done for us,” he said.
“As you can see, we are now able to do agricultural activities all year round without any difficulties. Even the climate change will not affect us much due to this irrigation project. We thank the government for fulfilling its promise.”
Mr Davison Upapa, another beneficiary who was also relocated paving way for the construction of Muchekeranwa Dam, thanked Government for not abandoning those displaced.
“I am one of the people who was displaced for the construction of the dam,” he said.
“However, Government did not relocate us to a faraway place. Now, Government has established an irrigation scheme which is meant to benefit us. We are happy and we thank our President, President ED Mnangagwa, for this.
“What is left is for us to play our part and work hard on this project. We will get expertise from Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. So, we need to be committed and deliver.”
Mrs Rudo Machaka, who is also benefitting from the scheme, commended Government for giving them land and equipment for their agricultural activities.
“I stay near this dam and I am happy for what our President has done for us,” she said.
“We were told back then that we would benefit from an irrigation scheme from Government and today we are witnessing the promise being fulfilled.
“We are now able to do agricultural activities throughout the year and nothing will stop us. We never thought this would be done for us and we are thankful.”
Mrs Bibiana Chingore of ward 22, commended the Second Republic for the project and urged other beneficiaries to work hard and earn a living.
“This programme is good,” she said.
“I can see that we are already empowered and we are happy. This is commendable and my wish is for these projects to be done across the country for everyone to prosper.
“To those who also benefitted, I want to urge them to be united and work hard for their prosperity.”
Chairman of the Muchekeranwa Irrigation Scheme Mr Moses Chinhara welcomed the development.
“I feel happy because President Mnangagwa fulfilled his promise he made when he commissioned this dam,” he said.
“He promised some centre pivots for this scheme and today we have them. We are very happy. We are going to do commercial agriculture. We also want to thank MUAST for the expertise and all kinds of assistance on this project,” he said.