The task force on national projects has implored the stakeholders in the implementation of the 400 hectares Bulawayo Kraal Irrigation Project (BKIP) to move with speed in ensuring the commencement of full scale agriculture production for the benefit of the Binga community.

Members of the national task-force visited the BKIP in Binga to take stock of ongoing work towards the resuscitation of the scheme which has been identified as critical in transforming the area into an agriculture hub.

Briefing the task-force, members of the BKIP committee said it is worrying that there has not been full scale production since 2004 owing to operational challenges and vandalism.

“We are worried that since 2004 there hasn’t been any production at the scheme owing to a number of operational challenges and destruction of equipment,” said BKIP committee representative, Mrs Beritha Mudenda.

Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Mr Justin Mupamhanga said government attaches great importance to the project and implored all stakeholders to move with speed in ensuring the commencement of production.

“I believe from what we have seen a lot can happen. What we are going to do is to ensure that those tasked to do specific work should proceed,” he said.

Matabeleland North provincial irrigation officer Mr Charles Mhukula said major works being done to kick-start the project include the rehabilitation of the pipeline from the water source and refurbishment of electricity transmission infrastructure.

“The most important issue now is to address the pipeline. It is in two phases, reparations of the old phase and procurement of equipment for new pipeline,” said Mr Mhukula.

With the potential to be expanded to 1 500 hectares, the irrigation project implementors will focus on wheat, cotton, maize, citrus fruits and livestock production.

Plans are also in place to set up value addition plants to create more jobs and ensure the realisation of export-led economic growth.

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