News: $52m ir­ri­ga­tion kit un­veiled:

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Sa­muel Kadun­gure Se­nior Re­porter

THIRTY-TWO small­holder ir­ri­ga­tion schemes in Man­i­ca­land — with an area ex­ceed­ing 1 500 hectares — are set for re­vamp­ing un­der the $52 mil­lion Small­holder Ir­ri­ga­tion Re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion Pro­gramme co-funded by Gov­ern­ment and the In­ter­na­tional Fund for Agri­cul­ture De­vel­op­ment (IFAD).

Pre­sent­ing the 2018 Na­tional Bud­get State­ment re­cently, Fi­nance and Eco­nomic Plan­ning Min­is­ter Cde Pa­trick Chi­na­masa pointed at a num­ber of op­tions meant to ame­lio­rate and re­vamp ir­ri­ga­tion in­fra­struc­ture and ca­pac­ity across the coun­try.

“The small­holder ir­ri­ga­tion re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion project, co-funded by In­ter­na­tional Fund for Agri­cul­ture (IFAD), OFID and Gov­ern­ment, will dis­burse US$6,9 mil­lion. This is meant for the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion and ex­pan­sion of Musika­vanhu in Man­i­ca­land, Se­basa, Chik­walak­wala, Ex­change and Rupung­wana ir­ri­ga­tion schemes.”

Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa said FAO with the sup­port from Euro­pean Union will dis­burse $2 mil­lion for on­go­ing works at 20 ir­ri­ga­tion schemes in Man­i­ca­land and Mata­bele­land South.

“An amount of $3,3 mil­lion will also be dis­bursed by the Ja­panese In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion (JICA) for on­go­ing works at Nyakomba Project Block A (Nyanga),” he said.

The IFAD-SIRP costs are es­ti­mated at US$51,68 mil­lion over the seven years of im­ple­men­ta­tion dur­ing which 125 small­holder ir­ri­ga­tion schemes — mea­sur­ing 6 100ha — are set to be re­ha­bil­i­tated in Man­i­ca­land, Masvingo, Mid­lands and Mate­bele­land South with a view to re­duce vul­ner­a­bil­ity to food and nu­tri­tion in­se­cu­rity, cli­mate change ef­fects and eco­nomic shocks.

IFAD is an In­ter­na­tional Fi­nan­cial In­sti­tu­tion and a United Na­tions (UN) Spe­cialised Agency that lends and grants money to gov­ern­ments to carry out projects and pro­grammes fo­cus­ing on food se­cu­rity and poverty re­duc­tion.

Its ob­jec­tive is to in­crease ru­ral house­holds’ in­come in SIRP sup­ported schemes and ad­ja­cent rain-fed ar­eas through re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing or ex­pand­ing tar­geted ir­ri­ga­tion schemes and sup­port­ing these and sur­round­ing rain-fed ar­eas to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity, pro­duc­tion, in­come, ac­cess to agri­cul­tural mar­kets and fi­nan­cial ser­vices.

SIRP points to Gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts to im­prove food and nu­tri­tion se­cu­rity, as out­lined in the Zim-As­set and 10-point eco­nomic plan blue­prints, through pri­ori­tised in­vest­ment in ir­ri­ga­tion in­fra­struc­ture and build­ing the ca­pac­ity of farm­ers to sus­tain­ably op­er­ate and main­tain de­vel­oped ir­ri­ga­tion schemes, in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity and adopt mar­ket ori­ented pro­duc­tion strate­gies.

The pro­gramme will kick off next year with the over­haul of 128ha at Musika­vanhu Ir­ri­ga­tion Scheme in Chipinge.

Pro­vin­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tor Mr Edgar Seenza said the SIRP would also train farm­ers on cli­mate smart agri­cul­ture and im­prove mar­ket ac­cess for their agri­cul­ture prod­ucts, pos­i­tively con­tribut­ing to the re­silience of small­holder farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties in the face of cli­mate change man­i­fes­ta­tions such as per­sis­tent droughts and flood­ing.

Mr Seenza called on the co­or­di­nat­ing team and the Pro­vin­cial De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee to work to­gether to­wards the suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pro­gramme.

He said Gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor stake­hold­ers should build syn­er­gies and link­ages that pro­mote in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity.

“The econ­omy is agro-based and Gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to give pri­or­ity to the sec­tor through var­i­ous pro­grammes such as the Pres­i­den­tial In­puts Sup­port Pro­gramme, ir­ri­ga­tion re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, farm mech­a­ni­sa­tion and mod­erni­sa­tion pro­grammes.

“SIRP came at the right time as it will com­ple­ment on­go­ing Gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tives to boost and sustain agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tion in the prov­ince. We, there­fore, thank the In­ter­na­tional Fund for Agri­cul­tural De­vel­op­ment (IFAD) for its un­wa­ver­ing sup­port to the agri­cul­ture sec­tor. IFAD has demon­strated its core value of ‘in­vest­ing in the ru­ral peo­ple’ as the ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties around Man­i­ca­land are di­rect ben­e­fi­cia­ries of this fund­ing,” said Mr Seenza.

Mr Seenza said the fund­ing would also em­power women and youths, who are the ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion, and are at the core of en­sur­ing food and nu­tri­tion se­cu­rity at the house­hold level.

About 15 000 house­holds with an av­er­age of 0,4 ha in the ir­ri­ga­tion schemes, 12 500 house­holds with no ac­cess to ir­ri­ga­tion in the ad­ja­cent rain-fed ar­eas, 2 000 youths and 500 ex­ten­sion and tech­ni­cal ser­vice providers will ben­e­fit un­der the pro­gramme.

Women will ac­count for at least 50 per­cent of the tar­get.

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