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Thuli-Makwe Irrigation Scheme in joint venture with local investor

by Staff Reporter
19 Oct 2016 at 18:11hrs | Views
Farmers at Thuli-Makwe Irrigation Scheme in Gwanda have entered into a joint venture with a local investor in a development that is expected to enhance agricultural productivity at the underutilised facility.

The partnership between Thuli-Makwe Irrigation Scheme and Sense Marketing Private Limited will see the investor occupying 139 hectares of land while 55 hectares will remain in the hands of the farmers.

Thuli-Makwe Irrigation Scheme chairperson Mrs Shiela Sibanda said the challenges faced by the farmers which include constant breakdown of engines, high utility bills and shortage of inputs necessitated the partnership.

The investor has agreed to settle the farmers ZESA and ZINWA bills totaling to US$120 000, repair all electric motors and fence the scheme among other commitments.

Government has however advised the farmers at Thuli-Makwe to review the contract every five years instead of the 10 year period initially agreed by the two parties.

Other farmers are however not happy that only 30 hectares of land has been dedicated to the Command Agriculture Programme.

Thuli-Magwe Irrigation Scheme which had 489 plot holders closed operations in September 2012 due to a huge electricity debt that had risen to US$135 000 and water bills amounting to US$77 000.

It reopened in 2013 after farmers managed to reduce the debt and currently there are 222 plot holders after many other withdrew from the scheme.

Meanwhile 53 hectares have been put under the summer crop.

Source - zbc