The establishment of a state of the art processing centre at Amazon irrigation scheme in Insiza district will enhance small holder farmers’ production as they can now value add their produce.       

Through funding from its partners, a local non-governmental organisation, Zimbabwe Project Trust (ZIMPRO) came to the rescue of farmers in ward 15 of Insiza district in 2013 by rehabilitating the Amazon community irrigation scheme.

The 15 hectare facility that is run by 60 farmers will soon begin adding value on farm produce after ZIMPRO procured state of the art driers and peanut butter making machine for the  processing centre.

“The project is expected to continue until 2021 and will be focusing on transforming the irrigation scheme and processing facility into commercial ventures,” ZIMPRO Executive Director, Mr Tobias Chipare said.

“As from 2019 going forward, the thrust will be on monitoring and training so that there is local capacity to continue with the programme even after the exit of ZIMPRO,” he added.

The chairman of the scheme, Mr Mikayeli Sidambe expressed optimism that running a processing centre will see them realising better profit margins from their farming activities while a member of the development committee, Mr Ndodana Moyo said they are looking to expand the scheme so that farmers can also partake in the command agriculture programme.

“The irrigation scheme has greatly transformed our lives and we believe that adding value to our produce will enable us to supply bigger markets, which means more profits for the farmers “said Mr Sidambe.

Amazon community irrigation scheme is part of a bigger project being run by the non-governmental organisation through funding from Trociare and Irish Aid termed: Insiza Food and Security Project.

It seeks among other things to improve food security and income to vulnerable households.