Nozibelo Maphosa, Sunday News Reporter
A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Zimbabwe Project Trust (ZimPro) on Friday handed over an irrigation scheme to the community in Filabusi, Matabeleland South, that was completed in February.
The Amazon Community Irrigation Scheme was handed over to the community in the presence of Insiza North representative in the National Assembly Cde Andrew Langa.
Speaking at the hand over ceremony, Cde Langa said farmers from Matabeleland must focus on cash crops to sustain their irrigation schemes.
“Farmers should focus on cash crops because they bring in money and the irrigation has some bills that should be paid. With irrigation schemes like these, we hope that the command agriculture will improve,” he said.
Cde Langa donated four sprays which he said will be used to spray fall army worms and stock borers which have been destroying crops this farming season.
Speaking at the same ceremony, Insiza district Agricultural Extension Officer Mr Mhike Augustine said irrigation schemes play a leading role in boosting agriculture.
“Matabeleland usually receives little rainfall, well, with an exception of this year, but we say let us use the natural resources we have like rivers to supply us with water to farmers and feed ourselves. We should desist from being given food hand outs, farmers should produce and sell their own produce and create employment and be able to take their children to school. These projects should be taken seriously,” he said.
ZimPro executive director Mr Tobias Chipare said his organisation chose Insiza as it is part of the vulnerable districts in Matabeleland.
“We realised that the categorisation of vulnerability is in Matabeleland among other places that receive little rainfall in Zimbabwe, thus the mapping targets such as communities. These places are usually food insecure, and Insiza is one of the districts that suffer from food insecurity that’s why we did our project with Insiza,” he said.
Construction of the scheme started in 2013 and was completed last month. The scheme has 60 farmers who are responsible for farming the 11,6 hectares of land. ZimPro has been working with the Insiza community since 2004. The organisation’s first project was the goats “pass on” scheme where four female breeder goats were given to 210 beneficiaries.