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Rupike wins best irrigation scheme award

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Rupike wins best irrigation scheme award


Garikai Mafirakureva

Masvingo Rural –Rupike irrigation scheme, under Chief Nyajena in Masvingo Rural has been adjudged the best irrigation scheme in the country after beating 30 other national competitors from all 10 provinces. There are 450 irrigation schemes in the country and most schemes lost at district and provincial level.

The scheme was handed over the US$10 000 and ZW$150 000 prize money by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development, Anxious Masuka at a function held in Nyajena some 78 km from Masvingo on Friday.

Rupike which draws water from a dam constructed by Rio Zim was started in 1992 and this is the second time that it snatched the award. It has a total of 100 hectares which is fenced.

Masuka was so impressed by the performance that he ordered the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) Bank to arrange for the delivery of a tractor to the scheme with the loan being paid over three years.

“I am impressed with the way the scheme is managed. I am ordering AFC to deliver a tractor to you tomorrow. You will pay for the tractor over a period of three years. I am confident that you have the capacity to pay for it,” said Masuka.

Some notable dignitaries at the event included Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Ezra Chadzamira,  founder, co-owner and Managing Director of Dendairy, Darren Coetzee.

The judging criteria included general management of the schemes, water usage, production and productivity, crop health, records and security, according to the chief judge of the competition, Cleopas Rukuni of the Department of Irrigation.

“During the time of judging in December last year, Rupike had 80 hectares of maize meant for sale as green mealies that had been planted in August and 20 hectares of Soya beans.

“The organisations that were consulted during the judging process are Agricultural Engineering, Mechanization, Soil, Water and Post Harvest, Department of Irrigation, Agricultural Advisory Services and ARDA,” said Rukuni.

The scheme has 200 farmers and each has a plot that is 0,5 hectares big.
The most grown crops at Rupike are soya beans, maize, sugar beans and wheat with the main crop being maize, wheat and sugar beans. Rupike produces an average of 720 tonnes of maize per season, nine tonnes of 112 tonnes of wheat, and 130 tonnes of sugar beans. The crops are mainly marketed to Zimbabwe Super Seed, Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and local market around Masvingo town.

The first runner-up in the competitions was Zvavachari Irrigation Scheme from Midlands which walked away with US$7 500 and hampers from different companies and on number three was Siyalima Irrigation Scheme from Mashonaland Central which won US$5000. Nyahoni Irrigation Scheme from Mashonaland East came fourth and got US$3500 and Kwalu Irrigation Scheme from Matebeleland South was fifth and got US$2500 and on number six was Musikavanhu B from Manicaland which won US$1000.

Rupike started off with 20 plots and in terms of membership it grew phenomenally to the current 200.

The farmers have managed to buy pumps and electric motors, establish a workshop where all their farming implements are repaired. There are 600 water sprinklers. The farmers bank online through laptops and have printers, said committee member, Tumirai Jese
He said that the scheme will soon be launching its own sugar beans seed called Noah 45 as part of value addition. The scheme chairperson is Mary Mzembi.

Some of the companies who sponsored the prizes included Valley Seed, Zimbabwe Super Seed, AFC, Dendairy, ZFC, Agriseeds, Superfert, Rio Zim, and Seed Co Vegetables. https://masvingomirror.com/

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