56% of irrigable land in Zimbabwe is lying idle says Auditor General

According to a 2016 performance report by Auditor-General Mildred Chiri on the management of irrigation schemes, 56% of irrigable land is underutilised.

The report states that irrigation schemes collapsed due to lack of monitoring, dilapidated infrastructure as well as poor performance by contractors among other factors.  Part of the report reads:

The assessment of the department of Irrigation Development’s management of irrigation schemes revealed a number of weaknesses which contributed to the underutilisation of irrigable land. It was noted through documentary reviews of project files for 69 irrigation schemes that only 4 273 hectares (44%) out of a total of 9 741 hectares of developed irrigable land was under irrigation.

The report shows that land ended up lying idle due to inadequacies in the department of Irrigation Development’s management of the irrigation schemes. The department has failed to carry out monitoring and evaluation of irrigation schemes. The report recommends that Treasury timeously avail funding to the department of irrigation to boost the prospects for agricultural development.

More: Zimbabwe Independent

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