Emmah Chinyamutangira Post Correspondent
AGRICULTURE experts have urged farmers in irrigation schemes to commercialise their sector and fully utilise land to boost food security.
Manicaland Agritex principal officer Mr Joseph Mukajami made these sentiments at the second edition of the Manicaland provincial irrigation scheme prize giving day, which was held in Buhera last Friday.
He urged farmers to use irrigation as a strategic tool to achieve food security, create wealth and prosperity for the country.
“Farmers in irrigation schemes should commercialise their sector by adopting business approaches. We are also training farmers on how to manage their water.
“Farmers should also use the Presidential inputs they have received to boost agricultural production so that they help the country reduce expenditure on food imports,” said Mr Mukajami.
He also said the prize giving day was aimed at stoking competition and creating a platform for farmers to share ideas that would help maximise productivity.
“The development of irrigation will be instrumental in unlocking the country’s agricultural potential. The high frequency of bad seasons and significant bad climatic developments such as droughts and El Nino are hitting smallholder farmers the hardest. There is therefore urgent need to adopt the irrigation option, hence we are educating irrigators on how to manage water and do professional record keeping to boost productivity,” said Mr Mukajami.
Agritex officers are also training irrigators to use various types of irrigation systems to tackle water scarcity problems, as they prepare to adopt irrigation as a way of mitigating against droughts.
Mr Mukajami said this would enable farmers to turn their enterprises more profitable and reliable, profitable and sustainable production than they were currently.
The event attracted farmers from many irrigation schemes as well as farmers who benefited from the Government sourced irrigation equipment from Brazil under the Food for Africa Programme.
Maunganidze Irrigation Scheme scooped the first prize and will represent the province at national level.