The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr Anxious Jongwe Masuka commissioned the fifth SIRP rehabilitated irrigation scheme last week. Fuve Panganai B, located in Zaka District of Masvingo was rehabilitated by the Smallholder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme (SIRP) at a cost of US$110 000. The scope of works at the scheme included the rehabilitation of the hydraulic system and the provision of a 2100m perimeter fence. The 88-hectare scheme has 88 beneficiaries.
In his speech, Minister Masuka urged the farmers to focus on productivity and farming as a business, noting that this would enhance the farmers’ incomes, increase opportunities for value addition and the development of agri-business value chains. The minister also encouraged the farmers to rotate cereal production with high value crops such as groundnuts, pepper, potatoes and vegetables which would give the farmers high financial yields. He said, this would enable farmers to cover recurrent costs.
Minister Masuka urged the farmers to adopt the V30 accelerator model which provided scheme business managers from the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA). Farmers were also encouraged to access marketing support from the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) and the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) for financial and leasing support.