Revival of irrigation schemes top priority: Minister

Lawrence Chitumba Mash Central Correspondent
MINISTER of State in Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s Office, Evelyn Ndlovu, has called for the resuscitation of all irrigation schemes for the country to regain its breadbasket status.

Minister Ndlovu is on a nationwide tour of irrigation schemes to ensure that they are fully utilised to boost food security and reduce food imports.

This follows the persistent droughts caused by climate change which have hit the country over the years leaving the country food insecure and relying on                                 imports.

Speaking during the tour of Mwenje and Negomo irrigation schemes in Mazowe District last week, Minister Ndlovu said there was need to resuscitate non-functional irrigation schemes and start new ones.

“Vice President Chiwenga’s Office was assigned to oversee food security and nutrition in the country so that the country is self-sufficient.

“Our mission is driven by the need to boost food security and reduce food imports and so far we have visited six provinces which include Mashonaland Central and we are left with two provinces which are Mashonaland East and West,” she said.

“We are here to see what we can do to resuscitate irrigation schemes and start new ones in light of the climate change which is causing persistent droughts leaving the country food insecure.

“We want the country to return to its former status as the breadbasket of Southern Africa.”

She said the bureaucracy caused by contracting the supply and fixing of irrigation equipment in new schemes was stalling progress and there was need for the irrigation department to form internal teams who will be able to import the equipment and fix it using its own engineers.

Minister Ndlovu said the over-reliance on suppliers has most often led to stalling of projects.

She also toured Siyalima Irrigation Scheme in Guruve.

Irrigation schemes will in the long run guarantee food security.

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