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Rehabilitaton of irrigation schemes in Matabeleland South set to begin

by Staff Reporter
24 Oct 2019 at 14:33hrs | Views
Rehabilitation of two irrigation schemes under the small holder irrigation revitalisation programme in Matabeleland South is set to begin soon, with feasibility studies for nine other projects currently underway.

Co-funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and  OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the small holder revitalisation programme (SIRP) will benefit Gwanda, Beitbridge, Insiza and Mangwe districts in Matabeleland South Province.

Speaking to the ZBC News on the sidelines of the SIRP natural resources management workshop in Gwanda this Wednesday, Provincial Irrigation Engineer in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Mr Shepard Mpotekwa, revealed that the rehabilitation of Sibasa and Chikwalakwala schemes will begin soon while feasibility studies are being carried out on 9 other projects.

"Feasibility studies at Sibasa and Chikwalakwala irrigation schemes are complete n we expect work to begin there before the onset of the rains . We have engaged a consultant Arup to do feasibility studies on 7 others while we are seized with the other two scheme," said Mpotekwa.

The provincial engineer in the same ministry, Engineer Dalisto Vengerai said the SIRP programme that is divided into two components will see the schemes being re-designed to become climate smart.

"Component one is looking at the hardware, which is the infrastructure, component two will focus on various issues including smart agriculture. We will be training farmers on best farming practices, while also linking them with markets," Vengerai said.

Small holder irrigation schemes in the province are operating at 60 percent capacity owing to the dilapidation of infrastructure and electricity challenges. The SIRP programme, which is running for 7 years is also benefiting Manicaland, Midlands and Manicaland provinces.

Source - ZBC

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