FARMERS in Mberengwa and Zvishavane districts say new irrigation schemes in their areas have brought social and economic change.
The two, Maboza and Biri Extension irrigation schemes in Mberengwa and Zvishavane districts respectively, were introduced by the Centre for Conflict Transformation and Management (CCMT) to bail out farmers who have been enduring dry spells and poor yields in the drought-prone districts.
Maboza Irrigation Scheme secretary-general Nhamo Gangira said the scheme had changed their lives for the better.
“We want to thank this organisation for bringing about irrigation schemes because they are yielding great results. We are now able to grow our crops all year round and earn money,” he said.
Gangira said irrigation had also transformed the lives of young people.
“Most people, especially our youths, now have something to occupy them which in turn curbs crime and other negative behaviours that pop up when there is a high unemployment rate. They are also able to generate their own income,” he said.
Biri Extension Irrigation Scheme chairperson Dorcas Nyoni said the irrigation had made them realise the commercial side of farming.
“The irrigation assisted us to treat farming as a business not just as a mere exercise that we do to grow our food. We are now able to sell and get some money which sustains our families,” Nyoni said. She added that the scheme had availed much-needed infrastructure and equipment.
“This organisation came at a time when farmers were not harvesting much because of lack of equipment and financial constraints. This organisation assisted us much as we are now able to raise funds,” she said.