Shurugwi embarks on small grains project

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Communities in parts of Shurugwi have embarked on a small grains project aimed at creating a food safety net in the drought-prone district.

By Stephen Chadenga

At least 400 families in wards 1, 8, 13 and 14 have benefited from small grains such as red and white sorghum, cow peas and groundnuts.

“The purpose of the project is to increase food security in the district,” Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Shurugwi district environmental officer Severino Kangara told journalists during a media tour on Wednesday.

“As EMA, we provide the villagers with the small grains to cultivate as well as inputs such as fertilisers. Once the villagers in a certain ward harvest, they would also help the next ward with the grain to cultivate hence the project becomes a revolving scheme.”

Kangara said, besides providing food security, the project was aimed at preventing land degradation and improve management of natural resources.

Ward 8 councillor Crispen Hamba said villagers in the area faced food shortages due to poor rains.

“Before this project, people ran out of food by August every year, but now we can reach the next farming season with food from the small grains,” he said.

A beneficiary of the project, Takaendesa Obert Chifambi, said after the introduction of the small grain project his family now had sufficient food compared to previous years.

Chifambi pleaded with the government to assist with tractors and irrigation equipment to make the project a big success.