Rehabilitation of Small Irrigation Schemes

Progetto concluso

The project aims at improving income, food and nutrition security of smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe. This will be done through the rehabilitation of small-scale irrigation schemes[1] and linking them to viable markets. SDC will contribute to a programme developed and coordinated by FAO and the Government of Zimbabwe, and will focus its support to the Masvingo Province which lies in the dry and arid region of the country.

[1] For the purposes of this programme, small irrigation schemes are defined as communal schemes with irrigators having an average plot size of 0.5ha to 1.0 ha with a common water source and conveyance system and an area of 50 – 100 ha i.e. benefiting an average of 100 – 200 irrigators. 

Paese/Regione Tema Periodo Budget
Agricoltura e sicurezza alimentare
Risorse idriche in agricoltura
Sviluppo agricolo
16.12.2014 - 30.09.2019
CHF 6'080'000

Agriculture is the mainstay of the Zimbabwean economy, contributing 17% of the country’s GDP with more than 60% of the rural population depending on it for their livelihoods. Erratic rains, exacerbated by climate change, make rain-fed agriculture a risky business in drier regions where over 80% of smallholder farmers live. The decade long economic decline in the country-since 2000- has resulted in the breakdown of irrigation infrastructure, with 42% of the equipped schemes needing rehabilitation. In Masvingo Province, 40 small irrigation schemes, which provided food and income to smallholder farmers were thus affected and are now in dire need of rehabilitation.


To improve income, food and nutrition security of smallholder communal farmers involved in small-scale irrigation in Zimbabwe

Gruppi target

8‘000 smallholder irrigators in 80 irrigation schemes will benefit directly from the intervention. The indirect beneficiaries will include non-irrigators around the schemes who will benefit from employemnt as casual labour during peak irrigation periods and also from the readily available agricultural products in the local markets. Women, who constitute the majority of farmers in rural areas (70%) and play a major role in food production, processing and preparation will have their specific needs taken into account in project implementation.

Effetti a medio termine

To sustainably increase the production, productivity, management and profitability of smallholder irrigated agriculture in targeted 80 schemes in communal and old resettlement areas of Zimbabwe.


Risultati principali attesi:  

80 schemes functioning optimally after rehabilitation.

8’000 smallholder irrigators capacitated in scheme management and crop production.

80 smallholder irrigation schemes managed as a business and linked to markets.

Sub-catchments for 20 pilot schemes have management plans developed and implemented.

Service delivery capacity of institutions supporting targeted smallholder communal irrigation schemes strengthened.


Risultati fasi precedenti:  

  • Two irrigation schemes totaling 154 ha and benefiting 254 irrigators rehabilitated and linked to markets.
  • Model for sustainable rehabilitation of small scale schemes produced and tested.
  • Irrigators are prepared to contribute to the operation and maintenance (O&M) of their schemes provided they have viable markets for their produce as is evidenced in Rupike (one of the schemes rehabilitated in the first phase) 


Direzione/Ufficio responsabile DSC
Credito Cooperazione allo sviluppo
Partner del progetto Partner contrattuale
Organizzazione non governativa internazionale o straniera
Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite (ONU)
  • Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite per l'alimentazione e l'agricoltura

Coordinamento con altri progetti e attori

Government (DoI & AGRITEX); Irrigation Working Group ( Zimbabwe); EU; JICA; SAMP (7F-07646.02); Agri-Fin Mobile (7F-08255.01)

Budget Fase in corso Budget Svizzera CHF   6'080'000 Budget svizzero attualmente già speso CHF   5'942'777
Fasi del progetto

Fase 2 16.12.2014 - 30.09.2019   (Completed)

Fase 1 01.07.2011 - 31.12.2014   (Completed)