The government has commissioned the first batch of motor bikes and vehicles to be used for the implementation of the small irrigation revitalisation programme in drought prone areas of the country.

The smallholder irrigation revitalisation programme being spearheaded by government in partnership with the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), got a shot in the arm today when the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Retired Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri commissioned a consignment of motor bikes and vehicles to be used by Agritex officers and the irrigation department for the implementation of the irrigation and food security initiatives.

“One of the main thrust of the programme is enhancing the capacity of Agritex and irrigation department to provide quality service delivery to smallholder farmers. In this regard the programme will provide training, 141 motor bikes and 35 vehicles and its equipment,” he said.

The equipment will go a long way to improve agriculture programme and productivity, subsequently contributing to the attainment of the Zimbabwe Transitional Stabilisation Programme.

“The programme  targets to rehabilitate approximately 125 irrigation schemes cover over 6 000 hectares in drought prone areas, increase, income, access to markets and improving access to finance service for smallholders farmers,” said Minister Shiri.

The programme which is being bankrolled to the tune of $51.6 million is expected to empower over 27 000 livelihoods in the remote rural areas of the country.