The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Chief Director responsible for Agricultural Advisory and Rural Development Services (AARDS), Professor Obert Jiri recently toured nine irrigation schemes that have benefitted from the Smallholder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme (SIRP). Prof. Jiri toured Musikavanhau Irrigation Scheme in Chipinge, Manicaland as well as Tshovani, Fungai, Rupangwana and Gudo in Chiredzi. The tour also included Banga in Chivi District and Musaverema in Mwenezi District of Masvingo. The Chief Director winded up his tour by visiting Insukamini in Gweru District and Mayorca in Zhombe.
Concluding his tour, the tour, the Chief Director said he was satisfied with the progress made so far in the rehabilitation works as well as the crops in the schemes, which are evidence of production and productivity. Speaking at Mayorca, Professor Chiri said ” I am very impressed with the state and quality of the crop that i have witnessed here at Mayorca and other irrigation schemes. Farmers are making an important contribution to national food security through cultivation of cereals such as wheat and maize. For sustainability, they are cultivating high values crops such chillies, sugar beans and other horticultural products.”
He added, ” I am also happy to note that most schemes have adopted the block irrigation system, which we are promoting as it has many advantages for smallholder irrigation schemes.”
The tour by the Chief Director also included nutrition gardens constructed by SIRP in Manicaland, goat and chicken chicken projects which are part of the interventions made by SIRP in rain fed areas adjacent to irrigation schemes. Prof. Jiri also visited the Muteyo cattle fattening project in Chiredzi, a high impact project as well as a honey processing plant in Musaverema that is close to completion. He also toured women’s projects that include Personal Protective Equipment groups at Musaverema and Insukamini as well as a post harvest centre in Insukamini. The CD also saw a group of youths trained in solar drier making who are making the gadgets for resale.