An Evaluation of the Impacts of Small Scale Irrigation Schemes in Matobo District in Matebeleleland

Author: Koma, Arebokeng

This evaluation study was carried out in order to evaluate the impacts of small scale irrigation schemes on income generation patters and food availability, more so its aim was to measure the sustainability of the schemes. A pre-post research design was used. Closed ended questionnaires were self-administered to the sampled population of the targeted group. Interviews were conducted with key informants. Secondary data in form of success stories were also looked into order to deduce the impacts of small scale irrigation schemes. The evaluative study indicated that the income generation patterns of the people of Matobo improved after the implementation of irrigation schemes. Food availability indicators were also noted during the study. The irrigation plot holders receive trainings from ProAfrica from time to time and this is credited to the good performance of the schemes. Trainings on leadership and team building that the irrigation plot holders excellent leadership skills. The evaluative study showed that the irrigation plot holders face challenges like shortage of markets, inputs and labor in their practices. The study also indicated that the dam capacity is not enough to sustain irrigation practices and other community activities. Market shortage is due to the conflict between the market forces and cropping calendars. The irrigation plot holders should be given trainings in order to overcome the conflict between market forces and cropping calendars. It is recommended that the irrigation plot holders open an account with Eco cash and save money for their inputs. The irrigation plot holders need trainings on value addition and market linkages in order to ensure sustainability of the processing Centre. It is also recommended that the organizations consider increasing the dam capabilities.