The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Government of Zimbabwe and OFID are financing the Smallholder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme (SIRP). The aim of the programme is to achieve food and nutrition security, and ensure that smallholder communities are resilient to climate change effects and economic shocks by enhancing households’ production, productivity and income levels, as well as improving access to agricultural markets and financial services. To achieve this SIRP focuses on:
- rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure;
- supporting processes for improved smallholder irrigation management;
- promotion of good and smart agricultural practices and technologies;
- improved market access and rural financial services and
- enhanced capacity for irrigation development and market-led production.
SIRP will revitalize about 6,100 ha of existing smallholder irrigation schemes in Natural Regions III, IV and V in the provinces of Manicaland, Masvingo, Matabeleland South, and Midlands. An estimated 15,000 poor food insecure or food deficit households (75,000 individuals) engaged in irrigated agriculture and 12,500 households with no access to irrigation in the adjacent rainfed areas are expected to directly benefit from SIRP’s interventions. The programme is also targeting 2,000 youths involved in production, aggregation, marketing, service provision and small to medium scale businesses along the irrigation value chain for skills development in their respective areas of specialization. Additionally, the programme will capacitate 500 extension and technical service providers to improve their capacity for more responsive, effective and efficient service delivery.
In order to implement this project, a SIRP Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) was established to manage the implementation process of the programme. The PCU will use its discretion to engage short and long-term technical assistance (TA) to strengthen the programme implementation process. Currently, a need has arisen on the programme team and the PCU is considering engaging a Rural Finance Specialist (Consultant) to support its activities related to improving access to finance by smallholder producers, financial literacy training and linking to formal financial institutions in selected irrigation schemes and their surroundings, in SIRP operational areas.