Japan avails US$15 million for Nyanga Irrigation scheme
THE Japanese government has extended a US$15 million grant aid to Zimbabwe for the development of Nyakomba Irrigation Scheme in Nyanga Manicaland.
The scheme which measures 674 hectares carries a total of 861 small holder farmers who are subdivided into five blocks.
The project which is expected to commence in 2016 will among other things focus on the construction of irrigation facilities in Block A which covers 138 ha for A1 and A2 farmers.
“Government will also construct irrigation facilities for Block E which covers 94 Ha, benefiting 180 small holder farmers. This will be done at a cost of US$5,9 million,” Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said at the signing ceremony.
Chinamasa said the aid marks the first step in the normalisation of relations between the two countries which broke down in 2000.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Japan for its decision to increase assistance to Zimbabwe by extending this developmental grant. As Zimbabwe we are committed to full re-engagement with
the country, as well as all our bilateral and multilateral partners,” he said.
Relations with Japan soured in 2000 as it also adopted the unilateral decision for an economic embargo to Zimbabwe by the EU block. However, the country just like western countries, continued to extend
humanitarian assistance to December. Since 2009 the country extended US$48,2 million in humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe.
Chinamasa said as part of the re-engagement, government will sign the country assistance programme between Japan and Zimbabwe under the auspices of the Tokyo International Conference for Africa Development on mutually agreed programmes espoused in ZIM ASSET.
Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Yoshi Tendai Hiraishi said the grant shows that focus has now shifted from purely humanitarian to more developmental targets.
“”Let us hope that today’s grant will usher in further involvement of my government into developmental assistance and infrastructural development in our friendly country, Zimbabwe,” he said.
He said agricultural productivity in the area is expected to improve and consequently contribute to the nationwide goal of increased food production and promotion of nutrition which is the first pillar of Zim
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made highlighted that Japan’s assistance towards irrigation schemes dates back to 2004. He said against this background, Japan is resuming assistance on an upped scale as the country faces an unpredictable rain season.
Secretary in the ministry of Finance, Willard Manungo said apart from the Nyakomba Irrigation Scheme, the Japanese government has sent various missions to conduct feasibility studies on various projects.
These, he said, included the repair of Chirundu Bridge, support to the Health Ministry, Rural Water Supply for Binga among others. FinX
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