The planting of seed maize has begun at Bulawayo kraal irrigation scheme with 75 hectares already done.

The scheme is targeting to have planted 200 hectares by the end of this month and will enable Binga to become a major supplier of seed maize during the next agricultural season.

The planting of maize seed began in May and a number of activities which include ripping, disking and application of fertiliser have been done in some parts of the targeted area.

Seed maize has been chosen because the crop performs well in warm temperatures which are being experienced in the district.

According to a technician from the Department of Mechanisation, Mr Hloli Takaiona, a team of engineers is currently working on rehabilitating burst pipes from the Zambezi river, which have prevented the scheme from accessing water.

“The biggest challenge we have is burst pipes all the way from the Zambezi river. What happened is that these pipes were installed in 2010 and some began to leak in the process, so this is what our guys are trying to sort out and we should be done by the end of the week,” he said.

Chairperson of the Bulawayo Kraal Irrigation Management Committee, Mrs Veronica Munkuli said the project is a fulfilment of the country’s economic blueprint and has already started benefitting the community through employment creation.

“I can confirm that a total of 69 people have been employed, some as tractor drivers, some as security personnel and youths are very excited about this development,” she said.

Bulawayo kraal irrigation scheme has enjoyed support from the First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe who sourced the equipment which is being used to operationalise the irrigation scheme as well as getting a foreign investor for full implementation of agricultural activities.