ZINWA assures enough wa­ter for agri­cul­ture in­dus­try

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Elita Chik­wati

THE Zim­babwe Na­tional Wa­ter Author­ity has as­sured stake­hold­ers in the agri­cul­ture in­dus­try that there is ad­e­quate wa­ter to sup­port part of the pro­posed 400 000 hectares of maize un­der com­mand agri­cul­ture as the author­ity pledges ac­cess of wa­ter to 30 000 hectares from its dams.

Zinwa chief ex­ec­u­tive, Dr Jefter Sakup­wanya, re­vealed this at the Agri-Busi­ness con­fer­ence at the Harare Agri­cul­tural Show yes­ter­day.

He said a num­ber of large dams, in­clud­ing Biri - Manyame, Mazvikadei and Mwenje were un­der­utilised.

“So far 95 000 hectares have been iden­ti­fied for ir­ri­ga­tion through farm­ers reg­is­ter­ing with Agritex for com­mand agri­cul­ture while 200 000 hectares have been reg­is­tered for dry­land maize pro­duc­tion.

“Zinwa has also availed man­power to serve on var­i­ous com­mit­tees and to as­sess the con­di­tion of the dams and other wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture at the iden­ti­fied farms,” he said

Dr Sakup­wanya said Zinwa would also as­sess the re­quired works to op­ti­mally use the wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture at the reg­is­tered farms as well as wa­ter avail­abil­ity.

“Tokwe-Mukosi Dam on com­ple­tion is ex­pected to add enough wa­ter to ir­ri­gate 25 000 hectares of land in the Lowveld. The author­ity has iden­ti­fied over 100 dams for de-sil­ta­tion and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion in or­der to en­hance the ca­pac­ity of dams and avail­abil­ity of wa­ter re­sources to sup­port the maize pro­duc­tion project,” he said.

Dr Sakup­wanya said the author­ity was work­ing on en­sur­ing that wa­ter was af­ford­able to farm­ers.

One mil­lion litres of wa­ter cost $2 for com­mu­nal farm­ers, $3 for A1,$5 for A2, $12 for com­mer­cial agri­cul­ture such as es­tates $6 for lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and $9,45 for in­dus­try. The min­ing sec­tor pays $50 for one mil­lion litres of wa­ter. Dr Sakup­wanya said the author­ity was also af­fected by cli­mate change, sil­ta­tion and pol­lu­tion of wa­ter sources.

“We are work­ing on pro­tect­ing rivers and reser­voirs from sil­ta­tion and pol­lu­tion through bet­ter land use prac­tices, car­ry­ing aware­ness cam­paigns on im­pacts of land use prac­tices like stream-bank cul­ti­va­tion, de­for­esta­tion, pan­ning, over­graz­ing, im­proper sewage dis­posal on wa­ter qual­ity,” he said.

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