A process evaluation of Amazon Irrigation Scheme under the Insiza Food and Income Security Project

Author: Nyoni, Mbakisi

Successive droughts, in Zimbabwe compounded by other economic shocks in recent years have resulted in decreased crop productivity amongst the communal farmers most whom reside in regions IV and V which are considered semi-arid. This has given rise to the need to find alternative food and income crops, which may be suitable for these areas. Generally, research in the world indicates that dryland crop production has a high degree of failure leading to chronic food insecurity in semi-arid areas because of their drought proneness. Whilst this might be the case, research, government policy and assistance from non-governmental organisations on food and income crop production in Zimbabwe have shown a continued inclination towards irrigation crop production in the semi-arid areas. The main objective of the study was to establish whether the irrigation scheme being constructed in Insiza district 16 under ZimPro’s Insiza Food and Income Security Project was being implemented according to plan. The research focused on Insiza district in particular ward 16 where the project was undertaken. The study focused on irrigation scheme only though there were some projects under the IFISP. The questionnaire was used as the main tool of inquiry to gather data from the project beneficiaries while discussion guides were used to gather data from FGDs and Key Informants. The sets of data collection instruments were used i.e. the household questionnaire, key informant questionnaire and focus group discussion questionnaire. Questionnaires were administered through face-to-face interviews. The total sample size was 30 farmers who were direct beneficiaries of the project. Data was analysed using SPSS and tables exported to MS excel for easy production of graphs and charts. The results revealed that the Insiza food and Income Security project was progressing according to plan. The research then concluded that although the project was progressing according to work plan and the budget, there was still a lot of work to be done on the ground. Farmers wanted to grow crops as soon as possible yet also there were still outstanding issues to be finalised with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA). All the farmers knew about the activities that were being implemented in the irrigation scheme and they felt as far as they were concerned those were on schedule. The research also concluded that there was transparency between the donor implementing partner (ZimPro) and the beneficiaries because the study established that the farmers were also aware of the budget and what had been spent so far.