Masvingo – The Government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa is returning to contour ridges as a way of stopping soil erosion, the Minister of State for Masvingo Ezra Chadzamira has said.
He said this at the launch of the Soil and Water Conservation Blitz Programme at Mbengo homestead near Mushagashe in Zimuto in Masvingo on Friday.
The contour ridges which were abandoned at independence because of their hard labour are returning as the central method of conservation but this time the programme will be mechanized to avoid painstaking labour, said Chadzamira.
Chadzamira expressed grave concern at the heavy siltation that has affected the rivers and dams causing them to dry.
The Soil and Conservation Blitz is being spearheaded by the Department of Agricultural Engineering, Mechanisation and Soil Conservation under the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy that seeks to achieve a US$8, 5 billion agriculture economy by 2025.
Chadzamira told farmers and Government workers that contour ridges will be introduced all over the country to protect soil from erosion and to conserve water. Soil erosion is now a global issue affecting agricultural production and causing food insecurity, he said.
Some 1 500 hectares of arable and non-arable land will see contours being constructed under the programme,” said Chadzamira.
The Department of Agricultural Engineering has allocated three tractors to Masvingo Province for the purpose of constructing conservation features like contours which were unveiled by Chadzamira on Friday. Thirty tractors were distributed throughout the country.
The construction units will be accessed by farmers through Agritex, the Environment Management Agency (EMA), local councils and traditional leaders said Chadzamira.
“The soil and water conservation blitz programme is targeting the whole country leaving no one behind and no land unprotected. There will be awareness campaigns, training, pegging and construction of contours in all districts of the province.
“However, the construction of contours manually is labour intensive therefore Government is mechanizing the contour construction by introducing tractors for the work,” said Chadzamira.https://masvingomirror.com