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Challenging El Niño: Rural Farmer Constructs Dam for Irrigation

By Titos Makondo

Peter Nyoni, a dedicated farmer born in Makhosiya village of Chiredzi South, refuses to be hindered by the lack of rainfall that has plagued the nation.

Nyoni, who farms in Bongo in Mwenezi, has taken the bold step of constructing a dam for irrigation purposes.

He realized that relying solely on rainfall in the Lowveld region was unreliable, given its scarcity and unpredictability.

“During the 2023/24 agricultural year, farmers who depended on rainfall failed due to El Niño,” Nyoni told The Chiredzi Scrivener. “This caused widespread hunger because we lacked alternative water sources for our crops during drought.”

Determined to overcome this challenge, Nyoni decided to build a dam that would supplement the low rainfall in his area. He also installed two solar boreholes to fill the dam.

“This has transformed me from a seasonal farmer to one who can farm year-round,” Nyoni said with pride. “Water is no longer a limiting factor for my irrigation system.”

Despite his success, Nyoni faces a significant obstacle: a lack of land. He was unable to secure a plot for farming in his hometown and has resorted to leasing a 10-hectare plot from his uncle in Bongo.

“This plot is too small for my plans,” Nyoni said. “I need at least 100 hectares to grow maize on a commercial scale and to establish a pen for my Boer goats and beef cows.”

Nyoni appealed to local authorities to assist him in acquiring a suitable commercial plot.

Headman Gibson Hlungwani of Mateke, Mwenezi, expressed admiration for Nyoni’s vision.

Mr Peter Nyoni

“Peter Nyoni is an enthusiastic farmer who deserves our support,” Hlungwani said. “His efforts will not only benefit him but also the nation in terms of food production and employment.

He is a shining example of the farmers responding to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call for self-sufficiency, ‘Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo’

I urge councilors and MPs to act swiftly on his request.”

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