ANGLO-PLATINUM Unki Mine, on Friday handed over an irrigation project to a Shurugwi community after a $550 000 investment.
The Shungudzevhu irrigation project is already benefiting 107 members in ward 19 who plant maize, potatoes, tomatoes and beans, among other crops.
Project committee chairperson Joseph Dendere said the lives of villagers in ward 19 had since changed with the coming of the scheme.
He said members were empowered as they now boast an income-generating project.
“We have 21 hectares and we plant crops such as maize, potatoes and beans. From the maize that we planted last season we expect to harvest 70 tonnes,” Dendere said.
Unki board chairman July Ndlovu said his company was committed to bring economic empowerment to communities where they operate.
He urged beneficiaries of the project to have unity of purpose to derive maximum benefits from the agriculture venture.
The scheme would be given first preference to sell its produce to the mine, a move that will ease the burden of transporting farm produce from places such as Shurugwi town and Gweru.
Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Francis Nhema said he was impressed by Unki’s gesture to economically empower the Shurugwi community.
Nhema said the community should jealously guard the project and work as a family in ensuring its success.
“Be united. If there is an old woman or one of the members not feeling well, assist each other and in that way you all derive maximum benefits from this project,” he said.