Government mitigates El Nino famine threat

Staff Reporter

Approximately 36,978 hectares of maize and 9,800 hectares of soya beans are currently under irrigation in Matabeleland North Province alone, as Government steps up its efforts to climate proof agriculture to guard against negative effects of climate change at household level and ensure food self-sufficiency.  

A reliable source within the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Government was establishing irrigation schemes targeting areas that were prone to drought.

"The irrigation schemes are a crucial intervention in ensuring food security and averting the impending famine caused by El Nino. The progress observed in Matabeleland North is testament to the effectiveness of these measures,” said the source

The source went further to emphasize the significance of these irrigation schemes in mitigating the adverse effects of the drought.

“Approximately 36,978 hectares of maize and 9,800 hectares of soya beans are currently under irrigation in the mentioned regions, as confirmed during a progress check conducted last week. Other crops such as potatoes and sorghum are also benefiting from these proactive measures,” added the source.

In addition to the irrigation initiatives, ZANU-PF Director for Information and Publicity, Farai Marapira, posting on his X (formerly known as Twitter) official page, reviewed that Government is tackling this crisis on multiple fronts, as seen by the construction of high-impact dams across every province.

“The government has allocated significant resources to 12 major dam projects, including Gwayi Shangani, Zimunya, Tuli Manyange, Kunzvi, Marovanyati, Muchekeranwa, Vungu, Silverstroom, among others, totalling a staggering US$2 billion in investments.

“This ambitious water-harvesting project has resulted in a noteworthy expansion of irrigable land from 150,000 hectares in 2020 to 203,000 hectares in 2023, with a targeted goal of reaching 350,000 hectares under irrigation by 2025,” Marapira said.