14 January 2013

Zimbabwe: PM Transforms Rural Communities

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai plans to roll-out the drip irrigation maize project countrywide to promote rural development.

The drip irrigation project he launched last year at his Humanikwa Village in Buhera late last year has shown that with more Government focus, rural transformation can change communities.

The pilot project seeks to demonstrate a link between a smallholder farmer, technology, and agriculture and food security.

The crop, planted in October last year is now ready for harvesting. The PM expects to harvest about 15 tonnes per hectare and if land was set aside in the 1 958 wards total yield could go a long way to alleviate Zimbabwe's annual maize requirements.

Co-manager of the project Komborero Tsvangirai urged authorities to nationalize the project to end hunger.

"This kind of project is very useful in ending hunger in the country. After harvesting the maize the PM has said that he would give families that fail to harvest since leadership is shown by giving to others."

The Premier has reiterated the need to invest in science and technology in the agricultural sector to improve productivity and transform rural lives.

During the official launch of the project PM Tsvangirai said: "I intend to make the project a model that could be applied on national level to fight food insecurity in the country, ending hunger and poverty."

Eric Munanga (35) the co-manager of the project commended the concept behind the drip irrigation project.

"This kind of a project is viable in alleviating food challenges that are as a result of poor rainfall patterns that characterize Buhera. This will end poverty and hunger in many families and the advantage with drip irrigation is that it doesn't require a lot of labor," he said.

"We expect to harvest about 15 tonnes of maize since 75% of the maize plant carries an average of two cobs," added Munanga.

Buhera district is located in Manicaland Province were poor rainfall patterns occur perennially. If successfully implemented, drip irrigation may end the country's food shortages.

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