No need to migrate to diaspora or cities to look for money -Silalabuhwa farmers

SIRP - Smallholder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme > News > No need to migrate to diaspora or cities to look for money -Silalabuhwa farmers

No need to migrate to diaspora or cities to look for money -Silalabuhwa farmers

  • Posted by: Precious Nkomo

Farmers at the 442 hectare Silalabuhwa Irrigation Scheme which was commissioned by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Dr Anxious Masuka in April this year say there is no need for them to migrate to big cities or the neighbouring South Africa to make money. They believe that their livelihoods will now come from the recently rehabilitated irrigation scheme, the largest communal scheme in Matabeleland South. The scheme was rehabilitated by the Smallholder Irrigation revitalization Programme and is benefitting 746 farmers.
The chairperson of Silalabuhwa Irrigation Scheme, Joel Mzwilili Ndlovu said, “The rehabilitation of the scheme is an important milestone for the farmers. Many of the canals were broken in the scheme while some parts of the scheme were flooded with water making cultivation impossible. Now the canals have been repaired, the flood area has been reclaimed. As farmers we can now start working the land. We believe that our prosperity comes from the land that we till. We are now ready to empower ourselves through farming. Our livelihoods are from agriculture and with the rehabilitation of the scheme, there is no need for us and our children to migrate to the diaspora or to the cities to make money. We will make our money here in the irrigation scheme.”
Minister Masuka who was the guest of honour at the commissioning noted that the rehabilitation of the scheme was under the new Vision 2030 Accelerator model. He said, “ It is in this context that we have spent so much money to ensure that this scheme is managed for sustainability and for viability. Starting with this crop, this scheme will be managed as a block and there will be a scheme business manager who will assist farmers to improve yields and also select better varieties.”
He added, “After the sugar beans that we are seeing here, the farmers are going to grow winter wheat through the Presidential Inputs scheme. They will also get a tractor which will enable them to improve production as well as to have some seed capital. These will ensure that these families are truly on their way to achieving Vision 2030.”
Before the rehabilitation, water discharged from the dam was significantly reduced from the 2500m3 to 1914m3 due to broken canals and pumping components. The water was further being lost over the rectangular supply contraction joints over a distance of 2720 m, a situation that further affected crop production in the scheme.
The Smallholder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme rehabilitated the dam outlet works and dam intake structure, repaired water delivery infrastructure, reconstructed infield canals and rehabilitated the dam outlets at the scheme’s five-night storage dams. The rehabilitation was done at cost of US$413 000.

Author: Precious Nkomo

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