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Mkwasine farmers stare 30% drop in sugarcane harvest

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Mkwasine farmers stare 30% drop in sugarcane harvest


Increase Gumbo

Mirror Reporter

CHIREDZI – Farmers in Mkwasine are anticipating a significant drop in sugarcane harvests of up to 30% this season because of reduced water supplies.

Several farmers who spoke to The Mirror said their crop experienced substantial water shortage since November because of old valves at Manjirenji Dam which is the source of water that got faulty. The valves were only attended to last week.

Farmers projected a reduction in cane harvests from 60 tonnes per hectare to 40 tonnes per hectare.

Mkwasine Sugarcane Farmers Association (MSFA), Secretary General Andrew Mupungu confirmed the situation to The Mirror and said the yields will not be normal because of low water supplies.

“There was a breakdown at Manjirenji Dam from November and this had a negative effect on the quality of our crop,” said Mupungu.

He added that the water supply was affected by the increasing population of farmers in the area. Mkwasine was meant for 8 000 hectares under irrigation but the hectarage has shot up to 9 000.

“Manjirenji’s valves became faulty because of old age, apart from that the dam is also incapacitated to serve all the farmers in Mkwasine because the offtakes are increasing every day. There are so many small scale farmers who are taking water from the dam illegally,” said Mupungu.

Efforts to get a comment from ZINWA public relations manager, Marjorie Munyonga were fruitless.

Zimbabwe Sugar Development Farmers Association (ZSDA), chairman Erisha Tamirepi also echoed same sentiments and said the prolonged breakdown at Manjirenji will affect their yield negatively.

He however, said that the problem was rectified last week.

Some farmers said the only solution to water shortages for Mkwasine is to construct the muted Mkwazi Mkwasine Dam.https://masvingomirror.com/

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