Government has issued an ultimatum to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) to install water charging devices at the country’s biggest barley producer, Resurge farm, in Chegutu district by end of this month, Business Times can report.
The ultimatum came after Delta Corporation and Resurgence Farm told Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Resettlement minister Anxious Masuka (pictured) that the water authority was using estimates resulting in them paying a huge bill as ZINWA had not installed water charging devices at farms for irrigation and was relying on estimated usage.
“What we are being charged is not the actual amount we will have used. Right now we are using 5 megalitres per hectare but ZINWA is charging us around 8 megalitres per hectare which is not right,” Delta CEO Matts Valela said.
Masuka then gave ZINWA up to the end of the month to rectify the problem.
“Per hectare of wheat ZINWA is charging 7.5. But there are some farmers who are efficient and utilise 4.5 megalitres per hectare.
“I am directing ZINWA to revisit these charges so that they charge the barley and wheat farmers for what they utilise in order to improve their viability.
“I want you to give me a report that you have installed a water charging device at this farm by month-end. It must have been done by then,’’ Masuka said.
There are 61 farmers in partnership with Delta Corporation through their contract farming scheme which focuses on the three main crops — sorghum, maize, and barley.
The farm owner, Percival Mazike said the success of Resurge was due to support by Delta, which provided inputs and financial support.
Mazike expects to harvest about 8 tonnes per hectare from the 400 hectares which he has put under irrigation this year.