By Christopher Makaza
Acting President, General (rtd) Constantino Chiwenga today officiated at the launch of the second phase of the Centre Pivot Irrigation Facility under the Special Maize Programme at Farnley Farm in Chegutu.
The Acting President said the center pivot facility was meant to mitigate the effects of erratic rains that the country had been receiving of late adding that only farmers with traceable loan records would benefit.
“Only farmers with proven records of production, repayment of loans as well as those who haven't benefited from past programmes will benefit,” he said.
In 2017, the first phase of the programme saw the Department of Irrigation installing more than four centre pivots irrigation systems at A2 farms in the Matabeleland region. The programme saw beneficiaries being allocated centre pivots with a capacity to irrigate 20 hectares.
One of the farmers at the event, Mr Kanjengo, who owns a 600-hectare Farm in Chegutu District, said the mechanisation programme was a big step towards empowering farmers.
“This programme is quite empowering and in terms of the stance which we are taking with the Government as a partner, we are likely to enhance the country’s food security. We will be able to water and now all what we are doing is working on getting connected to the electricity grid and we will be able to rotate from one crop to another throughout the year,” said Mr Kanjengo.
Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Minister, Mary Mliswa Chikoka said Government entered into an agreement with Pedstock Investments for the supply of 80 centre pivots. She said in the first phase, 73 centre pivots were delivered with 2 920 hectares already under irrigation.