Freedom Mutanda Post Correspondent
LIONS Finance Zimbabwe has come to the rescue of Bonda Irrigation Scheme, in an arrangement that will see farmers receiving business training and farming inputs on time.
The scheme is 14 kilometres from Birchenough Bridge in Chief Chamutsa’s area and is a source of livelihood to 314 beneficiaries.
Each family has a hectare of tillage land. Farmers were happy with the partnership between them and Lions Finance Zimbabwe which has rescued the scheme from imminent collapse after ZESA had threatened to switch off power over failure to service a debt.
Lions Finance Zimbabwe head of retail banking, Mr Timothy Chikomo, said the partnership between farmers and their company was expected to come up with an arrangement to service the debt and equip farmers with sustainable agronomic and scheme governance skills to enhance production and profitability.
He expressed optimism that the partnership would be of mutual benefit to the two parties in the long run. ‘’Farming is a business. I foresee a bright future for us as we link you to the market and at the same time avail inputs for you timeously,’’ he said.
Bonda irrigation management committee chairperson, Mr Oswel Madudze, said the Nemadzimbe community had reaped huge dividends from the irrigation scheme’s inception in 1996, despite teething problems experienced over the years.
It draws water using pipes from Dewure River. ‘’Our scheme started in 1996 and in 2004, it faced serious challenges that made us stop farming activities. We used hosepipes to irrigate and due to change in weather patterns, the pipes would burst.
“Government through the Department of Irrigation intervened to restore vibrancy of the scheme through the installation of aluminium pipes in the overhead irrigation mode. Since 2016, we have experienced no problems,’’ he said.
Sugar beans farmer, Mr Chandisaiziva Hamutyi, said early planting had its own advantages. Chief Chamutsa urged farmers to work hard and improve nutritional needs at household levels.
The scheme is also earmarked to actively participate in the Command Farming Programme.