Farmers at the recently commissioned Sebasa Irrigation Scheme in Gwanda say the revitalization of the 65 hectare scheme has brought them new hope and better incomes. Commenting on the new development after the commissioning in June 2022, Irrigation Management Committee secretary, Albert Sibanda said, “Before SIRP came, only block A was under cultivation, the water was powered from Mashaba, we used submersible pumps and the water was not enough. Farmers had to buy a diesel powered engine to supplement the water. There were only 43 farmers”
It is a different story today according to Sibanda “When SIRP came, they installed eight submersible solar pumps, 176 solar panels, three inverters and 28 batteries. They also rehabilitated the canals in block A, B and C and
they also gave us NUA45 bean seeds. They also gave us tree seedlings and we now have an orchard within the scheme.”
“Now farmers are happy, they no longer complain of hunger. There is food security, there are also part-time jobs during planting, weeding and harvesting, all those are benefits of SIRP. Our farmers now have hope, hope for the future. Before SIRP came, as farmers we were not so hopeful, we used to depend on our sons and daughters in South Africa. Now we can fend for themselves, life is much better.”
The farmers in Sebasa have seen improvements in their lives since the rehabilitation of the scheme. They no longer live from hand to mouth but are selling their produce, especially cash crops such as groundnuts, raking in much needed foreign currency.
Mrs Thabiso Moyo, one of the farmers said “Previously, we used to struggle to make ends meet, especially as women. But all that has changed, this irrigation has really empowered us and we are able to get something out of it. We can now stand on our feet as women and contribute meaningfully to out households. Last year, farmers sold groundnuts here at Sebasa and made R120 000.This year I am hoping to harvest one tonne of NUA 45 sugar beans.”