Government is targeting to put 350,000 hectares of land under irrigation as it seeks to reduce reliance on rain-fed agriculture, a top official has said.
Zimbabwe’s agriculture is heavily reliant on rainfall and has been affected in the event of droughts.
Speaking at the handover of plots to the Chinyamukwakwa community by Green Fuel, Lands and Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka said the use of irrigation is part of the transformation of agriculture.
“By 2025, we want to have 350,000ha under irrigation. We are at 200,000ha. With what Green Fuel is doing, they are doing 1000ha per year and are assisting to meet that target,” Masuka said.
He said farmers are those that rely on rain-fed agriculture.
Those that use irrigation are no longer farmers but businessmen and businesswomen, Masuka said, imploring them to work hard.
He said while the farmers looks up to the skies for rains, the businessmen and women should strive to come up with innovative ideas to make money.
He said agricultural transformation would see each ecological region growing crops suitable for the region under the climate proof agriculture programme, Pfumvudza/Intwasa.
Masuka said in Chisumbanje, farmers would get seeds for drought resistant crops such as millet and sorghum, groundnuts and roundnuts.
He said villagers would then take their produce to the Grain Marketing Board in exchange for maize, Zimbabwe’s staple.
Meanwhile, Green Fuel handed over 253 plots to farmers in which they will practice agriculture throughout the year through irrigation.
Green Fuel will also provide extension services.