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    Thursday, 3 January 2019

    Masvingo wins best irrigation scheme award

    Stanmore B Irrigation Scheme chairperson Emmanuel Mafuma 
    ( third from left) receives a cheque from Agritex Principal 
    Director Joseph Gondo ( second from left), looking on is 
    Masvingo North MP Davis Marapira (far left) and 
    Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial affairs 
    Ezra Chadzamira (far right)  

    SIMBARASHE MTEMBO
    NEWS EDITOR

    MASVINGO -
    Stanmore B Irrigation Scheme in Masvingo has been judged the best irrigation scheme in the country and the winners were presented with a $10 000 cash award by the Minister of Provincial Affairs, Ezra Chadzamira at a function held last week.
    In addition the scheme also got a hamper with six agro chemicals and a knapsack courtesy of Curechem, nine bags of maize and sugar bean seeds from Seed Co, a 10kg bag maize seed from Klein Karoo (k2), seeds from SuperFert and Agri Seeds.
    The function was also attended by the director of Irrigation in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Doctor Conrad Zave and Agritex Principal Director Joseph Gondo who represented the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Perrence Shiri.
    Stanmore is in Ward 32 under Chief Chikwanda in Masvingo North and has 32 families who each have a hectare under irrigation. They grow a variety of crops including maize, beans and wheat.
    Various factors were considered in choosing the best irrigation scheme and they include; scheme management, water management, maintenance of equipment at the scheme and the judges comprised a team of experts from the Department of Irrigation, Department of Crops and livestock, Zinwa, Zimbabwe Farmers Union and several interested NGOs’.
    The award came three years after the scheme shut down because of a series of problems including heavy siltation of the water bodies and a huge debt.
    Nine other schemes, one from each province were in the competition and Siwazi Irrigation Scheme from Mat South came second while Maunganidze from Manicaland came third, Zvavachari Irrigation Scheme from Midlands came fourth followed by Machiki from Mash East.
    “We almost stopped the scheme in 2016, our irrigation pipes were chocked with sand, we had no source of water, our tractors had no fuel and we had outstanding loans that needed to be repaid. Winning this year’s competition is a blessing for us,” said Emmanuel Mafuma who is the irrigation chairperson.
    Stanmore B was established in 2001 and has 32 households, with each family managing a hectare. The scheme draws water from Mutirikwi Dam and farming began in 2017 after rehabilitation of pipes.
    The scheme harvested 256 tonnes of maize under command agriculture program in the 2017 farming season. Eight hectares were under wheat and another eight is under maize for the 2018-2019 farming season. The scheme works in partnership with K2 which supplies them with seed.
    Micro Success Bank is also financing the project.
    Meanwhile Midlands based Zvavachari was voted the best female run irrigation scheme and got seed hampers from Syngenta and SuperFert followed by Tshongokwe from Mat North which won a bag of maize seed from Syngenta. Rozva irrigation scheme in Bikita came third and was awarded maize seed by Syngenta and ZFC Limited.
    Speaking at the event, Gondo said Government has established over 400 A1 irrigation schemes across the country and are contributing to command agriculture.
    “Government has since last year established over 400 A1 irrigation schemes across the country, we are dedicated to seeing that our nation is fed and we shall continue engaging farmers to promote these schemes,” said Gondo.
    The full list of sponsors for the awards is Agri Seeds, Seed Co, SuperFert, Curechem, Farmers and Irrigation Organisation, Klein Kaloo, Syngenta and ZFC Limited

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