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Govt secures $25.5 mln grant for smallholder irrigation

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Govt secures $25.5 mln grant for smallholder irrigation

HARARE – Government has secured a $25.5 mln grant from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) aimed at supporting Zimbabwe’s Smallholder Irrigation Revitalization Programme (SIRP).

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa in statement said the financing agreement, which was approved in September 2016, will be signed tomorrow in Rome Italy.

“The Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will sign the financing agreement of a US$25.5 million grant to support Zimbabwe’s Smallholder Irrigation Revitalization Programme (SIRP) in Rome, Italy on the 18th of November, 2016,” he said.

Chinamasa said the SIRP is targeting 4 000 hectares of smallholder irrigation schemes in communal and old resettlement areas in Manicaland, Masvingo, Matabeleland South and Midlands provinces.

“The objective of the programme is to sustainably increase diversified production, productivity, income and improve resilience of households in the selected areas,” he said.

The programme also seeks to provide support to improve market access and capacity building measures.

Chinamasa said SIRP is consistent with the Government’s overall policy objective to enhance food security and poverty eradication in line with the country’s economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET).

He added that it is also contributing to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 1 (End poverty in all its forms everywhere) and Goal 2 (End hunger and achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture).

IFAD is a UN Agency that is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Only yesterday, the European Union availed an additional $8,4 mln towards Zimbabwe’s food security.

The Bloc and its 28 member states have since contributed in excess of $112,4 mln in Zimbabwe and the additional funding will be channeled through the multi-donor Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF) which is managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

At least 4,1 mln people are in need of food assistance following poor harvests in the 2015/16 agricultural season which was affected by the El Nino induced drought.

 

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