The effectiveness of irrigation schemes in enhancing household food security in Mberengwa district: a case study of Mundi-Mataga irrigation scheme
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Irrigation development is considered as an intervention measure to food insecurity in drought prone Mberengwa district. The main goal of this study was to evaluate a small scale irrigation scheme on household food security in Mberengwa, a subsistence-based farming community in the Midlands Province (Zimbabwe). A total of sixty household heads adequately represented farmers from Mundi-Mataga irrigation scheme as homogenous community via simple random sampling technique. Interview schedules and questionnaires were used to source information on food security situations before and after introducing the irrigation scheme and the effects of the challenges faced. The idea is to understand the magnitude and nature of the effect that irrigation has on yields and crop revenue. Also it sought to describe the relationship among irrigation status, yields and household crop revenue. Finally, the research sought to understand the impact that irrigation has on incomes in poor areas. The analysis shows that irrigation contributes to increases in productivity for almost all crops and in income for farmers in the irrigation scheme. The importance of crop income in poor areas and the strong relationship between crop revenue and irrigation provides evidence of the importance of irrigation in past and future alleviation of hunger in Mberengwa district. It also shows that in the majority of the farmers who invested in the irrigation, returns are positive even after accounting for increases in capital and production costs. Evidence concluded that although issues of hunger continue to exist in the district, irrigation enhanced household food security therefore it can be helpful if a further research be conducted to determine why hunger continued in the area whilst irrigation intervention measures put in place are effective.
- Department of Geography