The community of Kumbudzi in Umzingwane district will soon benefit from the establishment of a state-of-the-art irrigation scheme after government committed itself to creating seven outlets along the Mtshabezi–Umzingwane pipeline.

As part of efforts towards ensuring that the communities in Umzingwane and Gwanda districts benefit from Mtshabezi dam and the Mtshabezi-Umzingwane pipeline, the government committed itself to establishing seven outlets  for the creation of irrigation belts and supply of domestic water to households and schools.

It is against this background that the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate working with its partners have started installing equipment at the Kumbudzi scheme in order to boost agricultural production in the area.

Speaking to the ZBC News, the secretary of the scheme, Mr Limos Moyo says the scheme will concentrate on growing high value crops so that they derive maximum benefits from their farming activities.

“We intend to grow crops like garlic, paprika and baby corn because we know that we can get better returns from growing such crops,” said Moyo.

Zidlabusuku Irrigation Scheme farmers who have already started accessing water from Mtshabezi dam through the pipeline expressed their gratitude to the government for the scheme saying it has uplifted the community’s standard of living.

“We are not only getting food from this scheme but we are able to send our children to school through proceeds from selling our crops,” one of the farmers said.

The other irrigation schemes will be developed in Bezha, Mlolihodo and Longfield.

In the past few years, 14 irrigation schemes have been established and rehabilitated in Umzingwane district with some benefiting tractors under the More Food for Africa Programme.