Zimbabwe: Govt invites farmers to the Tugwi-Mukosi project

The government has submitted applications from farmers who are interested in irrigation works with water from the Tugwi-Mukosi dam in the south of Masvingo, which is potential to irrigate more than 25,000 hectares.

The development comes when the plans to exploit water in the largest inland body of Zimbabwe have gained momentum with the Zimbabwe Infrastructure Development Bank, which is currently identifying land for the project.

IDBZ also identifies investors to develop the irrigated land once the identification exercise is complete. The bank's findings will be included in the master plan of the dam that is in preparation.

Masvingo Minister of Provincial Affairs, Senator Josaya Hungwe, urged potential future growers in Tugwi-Mukosi last week to apply to the Masvingo Development Trust to register for irrigation.

"As a province, we are currently focusing on the best way to use Tugwi-Mukosi water for the benefit of our people, and that is why we want to encourage our people interested in growing outside Tugwi-Mukosi to register they are working on irrigation, "he said.

He said that the planned irrigation projects in Tugwi-Mukosi would change the province economically and socially.

He said that the future out-growers in their application should mention the type of crop that they want to grow under irrigation.

"It is our expectation that irrigation projects in Tugwi-Mukosi will change the lives of many people in rural communities around the dam.

"We are pleased that zanu-pf has achieved a resounding victory in the just, harmonized elections, allowing the ruling party to continue its agenda to develop the country towards a middle-income country as announced by President Mnangagwa by 2030."

Senator Hungwe said that the province of Masvingo was determinedly focused on development, despite the current political challenges arising from the July 30 polls won by President Mnangagwa and zanu-pf.

"We are not alarmed by political battles that have arisen from the outcome of the ended harmonized election." The current legal battles by political parties should not let us distract from development initiatives, "said Senator Hungwe.

Tokwe-Mukosi Dam, about 72 kilometers south of the city of Masvingo, is the largest inland dam in Zimbabwe with a capacity of 1.8 billion cubic meters.

The dam, built for $ 300 million, is being touted as a permanent panacea for recurring food problems in Masvingo, a province known for endless droughts.

Besides irrigation development for the cultivation of cash crops, Tugwi-Mukosi has potential to generate electricity and a nature reserve is intended for the buffer zone of the dam that adds a tourist attraction to the water body.

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