Country’s 10 000 dams to have irrigation schemes

20 Jun, 2024 - 08:06 0 Views
Country’s 10 000 dams to have irrigation schemes Deputy Minister Vangelis Peter Haritatos

The government plans to set up irrigation schemes for all the country’s 10 000 dams in the next two to three years to mitigate climate change, a senior government official has said.

Zimbabwe has 230 000ha of land under irrigation, but the government plans to increase this figure to 500 000ha to ensure cereal and nutrition security.

“Climate change is with us and damaging our country. As government, we are coming up with means and ways to mitigate climate change,” Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development Deputy Minister, Vangelis Haritatos said in Harare as he announced the forthcoming Irrigation Investment Indada set for July 5.

“The start is to ensure that we move away from rain feed agriculture to climate smart irrigation development. This is our ministry’s primary concern right now and for the next two or three years. Now we are very excited to inform you that on the 5th of July 2024 we have an exciting program and that is the Irrigation Investment Indaba in Harare. The President, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa will be the guest of honour. We are expecting many different suppliers of irrigation (equipment and services) to come forward,” he said.

He said the country is in the throes of an El Nino induced drought and has failed to produce enough grain because it is lagging on irrigation development, yet the 10 000 dams strewn around the country are 80 percent full.

Haritatos said the current functional irrigation in the country stands at about 230 000ha which is less than the minimum expected 500 000ha necessitating the development of an additional 270 000ha to ensure the country becomes food self-sufficient.

“Out of the 500 000ha that we are targeting 350 000ha must be for cereal crops,” he said. “350 000ha will give us approximately two million metric tonnes of cereal crops.”

“We are expecting international investors as well as domestic investors to come to the irrigation indaba. The government can do its part but we really need the private sector to come on board,” the Deputy Minister said.

“We want to tell a story of Zimbabwe. We want to tell people out there, what can be done for our people to be food and nutrition secure. Both domestic and international investors can be part of the solution to guarantee food security and provide a massive prospect in the development of our country.”

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