Mat South pre­pares for com­mand agric

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Thu­peyo Mu­leya Beit­bridge Bureau

A TEAM of agri­cul­tural tech­nocrats and se­nior Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials in Mata­bele­land South province has started as­sess­ing ir­ri­ga­tion in­fras­truc­ture and wa­ter bod­ies as author­i­ties in the area in­ten­sify ef­forts to roll out Com­mand Agri­cul­ture.

At least 2,000 farm­ers are ex­pected to ben­e­fit from the pro­gramme which is aimed at en­sur­ing food self­suf­fi­ciency and ul­ti­mately end grain im­ports.

The pro­gramme’s Mata­bele­land South co­or­di­nat­ing com­mit­tee chair­per­son, Mr Judiya Ncube, yes­ter­day said in an in­ter­view that they were visit­ing iden­ti­fied ir­ri­ga­tion schemes and dis­tricts ver­i­fy­ing in­for­ma­tion sub­mit­ted by farm­ers in­ter­ested in par­tic­i­pat­ing in Com­mand Agri­cul­ture.

He said the province has a tar­get to cover 2 500 hectares un­der the pro­gramme and the re­sponse from farm­ers was over­whelm­ing.

“We’ve started visit­ing dis­tricts and iden­ti­fied ir­ri­ga­tion schemes to ver­ify the in­for­ma­tion and also as­sess the state of the in­fras­truc­ture be­fore we can roll out the pro­gramme.

“We’re also check­ing the avail­abil­ity of ir­ri­ga­tion wa­ter in wa­ter bod­ies. We’ve cov­ered a lot of ground and we’re very hope­ful that the scheme will be a great suc­cess,” Mr Ncube said.

The Pro­vin­cial Ir­ri­ga­tion Of­fi­cer, En­gi­neer Shep­ard Mupotegwa, said they would have a list of all the projects and par­tic­i­pat­ing famers by the end of day on Fri­day.

“A lot of peo­ple are com­ing for­ward to reg­is­ter and it’s pleas­ing that all is go­ing ac­cord­ing to plan,” he said.

The Pro­vin­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tor, Mr Peter Moyo, said par­tic­i­pat­ing ir­ri­ga­tion schemes in­clude Arda Ing­wizi in Mangwe district, Makwe, Mankonkoni and Rustlers Gorge in Gwanda district and Si­lalat­shani in In­siza district.

He said they had reg­is­tered River Ranch, Jalukanga and Bili in Beit­bridge district, Moza in Bulimia district and Arda Maphisa in Ma­tobo district.

“The pro­gramme will also in­cor­po­rate A2 and A1 farm­ers. As we speak our District Ad­min­is­tra­tors are busy mo­bil­is­ing farm­ers in their re­spec­tive ar­eas.

“We’re car­ry­ing out the scheme on vol­un­tary ba­sis. It’s also pleas­ing to note that most of the reg­is­tered ir­ri­ga­tion schemes have fully func­tional equip­ment and in­fras­truc­ture,” said Mr Moyo.

“The Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Ser­vices De­part­ment has also pre­dicted that we will start re­ceiv­ing nor­mal rains in Oc­to­ber and we are happy that these will in­crease the vol­ume of wa­ter in our dams.”

Mr Moyo said par­tic­i­pat­ing farm­ers would be re­quired to com­mit five tonnes per hectare to­wards re­pay­ment of the loans (seeds, fer­tiliser and other im­ple­ments) and re­tain the sur­plus.

The farm­ers are each man­dated to pro­duce at least 1 000 tonnes of maize.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.