Close to 30,000 smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe are set to benefit from a US$15-million irrigation support facility agreed by the government and the OPEC Fund for International Development last week, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said on Monday.
In a statement, Chinamasa said he signed the agreement last week OPEC Fund for International Development director general Suleiman Al-Herbish in Vienna, Austria.
“The project will directly benefit at least 15,000 households in existing irrigation schemes and 12,500 households in adjacent rain-fed areas, covering a total of 8,000 hectares,” Chinamasa said.
Further, employment opportunities for 2 000 youths and 500 extension and technical service providers will be created.
He revealed that the beneficiaries would be drawn from the four provinces of Manicaland, Masvingo, Matabeleland South and Midlands where more than 2,000 jobs are expected to be created.
The OPEC support is meant to assist the Zimbabwean government’s target of putting more than 2,000 hectares of land under irrigation in a programme estimated to cost about US$52 million.
Chinamasa said the OPEC facility is over and above a US$25.5 million grant already availed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development for irrigation development in Zimbabwe.
Source: Journal du Cameroun