The Department of Mechanization in collaboration with local Agritex extension officers undertook a massive contour pegging initiative around the Exchange area in Kwekwe. 800ha was pegged in the high-risk areas of wards 9 and ward 15 near water sources where siltation was slowing affecting water levels impacting on water access for the local community.
Farmers that constructed contours were happy with the immediate results. . “Our fields were unproductive due to poor drainage and massive erosion that would wash away of top soils. But for the first time in many years I have been able to harvest something meaning from the field,” said Mrs Modester Mujuru, one of the farmers that embraced the contour construction programme. An assessment of farmers who constructed contour’s revealed that implementation of conservation farming and increased rainfalls recorded in the 2020/2021 practices contributed to increased yields.
Despite being labour intensive, the benefits of contour ploughing were observed to outweigh construction costs. “ It took my husband time to construct the contours but it has not been in vein my yields increased three-fold” Said
Farmers have the option of constructing contours using a variety of methods which include mechanical, physical and ox drawn methods. The continued construction of conservation works can contribute significantly to the reduction of soil erosion, protection of dams and other water sources. In the process significantly contributing to sustainable food production systems.