from MORRIS BISHI in Masvingo
MASVINGO, (CAJ News) – FUNDS amounting to more than US$26 million (R400.5 million) will enable the resuscitation of irrigation schemes in Masvingo province.
Ultimately, it will boost food production in the Southern African country prone to the impact of climate change.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has released the funds to help revive eight irrigation schemes being resuscitated in the southern Masvingo province.
The funding is part of a seven-year National Climate Change policy under The Green Climate Fund (GCF).
It is anticipated to build climate resilience for vulnerable small holder farmers.
Simbarashe Mupodyi, a representative from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, said the initiative to build climate change resilience would also benefit farmers in Manicaland and Matabeleland South provinces.
“The project has come at an opportune time where addressing the impact of climate change requires significant financial and technical support,” Mupodyi said.
“This project will contribute immensely towards the country’s climate change priorities outlined in the National Development Strategy Determined Contributions and National Climate Change Policy,” he said.
This includes the strengthening of the management of water resources and irrigation, strengthening capacities to generate new forms of empirical knowledge, provision of technologies and agricultural support systems that are climate smart.
Zimbabwe is vulnerable to climate change.
It has suffered almost two decades of droughts.
Last year, it was ravaged by the Cyclone Idai that left more than 600 people dead.
Vast tracts of farmland were destroyed.
Aaron Muchazivepi, the Masvingo officer for Zimbabwe’s Agricultural Extension Service (Agritex), said the irrigation projects would be revived in Bindamombe, Nyahombe, Muzhwe Zvinyarike and Gororo in Chivi district.
Others are Pikinini Jawanda and Chizumba in Mwenezi district.
The rest are in Bwanya and Matezva in Masvingo district.
According to the UN’s World Food Programme, Zimbabwe’s food crisis, which is the worst for more than a decade, is part of an unprecedented climate driven disaster gripping Southern Africa.
Temperatures in the region are rising more than twice the average global rate.
The erratic rainy seasons are hitting the country’s subsistence farmers hardest.
– CAJ News