Farmers at the 1024 hectare Musikavanhu Irrigation in Chipinge, Manicaland have indicated their wish to increase production of chillies in the next cropping calendar. 246 out of the 948 farmers at the scheme, which was rehabilitated by the Smallholder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme, are in partnership with a private company, which has availed a resident agronomist to give advice to the farmers.
One of the farmers, Mr Caleb Masimbe said “We went into the chilli farming contract last year in October. I had a 0.1-hectare portion. I started harvesting the chillies in February 2025. I sell the chillies at $0.80 per kilogram. When I sell the crop, the contractor recovers the costs of inputs provided. during the last sale, the money that remained after deductions was reasonable enough to enable me to pay school fees, electricity bills, water bills. I am actually thinking of extending the area that I am cultivating under chillies from the current 0.1 hectares to 0.2 hectares.”
He continued “Another advantage for us is that our private sector partner has agreed to pay us partly in United States dollars cash and then the other half in the local Zimbabwean currency. We encourage other farmers to venture into chillies cultivation because they will always be financially secure.”
Another farmer, Mrs Patricia Kanyamazora said “I am a farmer at Musikavanhu Block A. I also joined contract farming this past season. I also have 0.1 hectares under chilli. The money that I got after harvesting chilli helped me to pay school fees for my children who are in secondary school. I was also able to buy food for my family, which has improved their health.”
She added “I was also able to buy inputs for the next season. As a widow, I realize that this has greatly assisted me, if it was not for SIRP , no one would have been able to help me in this manner. In the next season, I wish to increase the area planted to 0.8 hectares”