Government says while it is awaiting finalisation of the Tokwe-Mukosi dam feasibility study, work is underway to open up at least 2 000 hectares for irrigation in Chivi and Masvingo district where floating pumps will be used for irrigation.

When the Tokwe-Mukosi dam was completed, expectations were high that sooner than later the province would start benefiting from utilising water from the dam for irrigation and other water based activities.

While government said it is pushing to finalise the feasibility study that will pave way for irrigation infrastructure to be laid, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Cde Davis Marapira said in the meantime, 1 000 hectares for irrigation will be opened in Chivi and Masvingo district.

He said water will be drawn from the upper wall of the dam using floating pumps.

Given the uncertainty of the 2017 /2018 summer cropping season, an additional 2 000 hectares of irrigated land will certainly go a long way to cushion the province from a potentially disastrous season.

Upon full implementation, the water body is expected to irrigate an estimated hectarage of 30 000. 

Currently, Masvingo relies on irrigation schemes like Mushandike to cushion the population in times of drought but the performance of the irrigation scheme has come under threat due to illegal settlers who are compromising its viability.