Kudakwashe Moyo is a farmer at Exchange Irrigation Scheme. Exchange irrigation scheme lies in Zimbabwe’s Farming Region III. The climatic conditions are semi arid with an average rainfall of 632mm per annum. The region experiences severe dry spells during the rainy season, and frequent drought and this limited rainfall.
For seven years Kudakwashe Moyo has been farming at Exchange irrigation scheme. The scheme is a major source of livelihood for the Exchange community. However, for years the irrigation scheme was under-performing mainly due to depreciated infrastructure (both headworks and field infrastructure). The frequent breakdown of pumps and leaking canals resulted in severe water , water challenges.
“For 7 years I have not been able to get anything meaningful from my farming endeavours because at critical points of the crop life cycle the pump would breakdown and this would reduce my yield”.
In 2020 SIRP replaced the three pumps and rehabilitated the canals. To complement infrastructure development Kudakwashe Moyo received training on natural resource management, post harvest, farming as a business, scheme operations and management and good agriculture practices. Following the installation of three new pumps, pump breakdowns are now a thing of the past.
“We now have adequate water and we can now grow what we want and when we want. I am greatful for the trainings particularly farming as a business. I now know that before I grow anything I must look for the market first”
Last season Tafadzwa Moyo planted maize on 0.1ha and potatoes on 0.2 ha. From these plots he harvested 6400kg of potatoes which he sold to Uptown and 300 dozens of maize to traders in Kwekwe. From the proceeds he managed to buy 5 cattle.
“I can now comfortably pay school fees for my children and support some orphans. My standard of living has greatly improved. I am a lot better off compared to those living in the city” .