List of Irrigation Schemes in Zimbabwe -
List of Irrigation Schemes in Zimbabwe

List of Irrigation Schemes in Zimbabwe

Welcome to the comprehensive list of irrigation schemes in Zimbabwe. In this compilation, you will find an array of irrigation projects spanning across the country, showcasing the remarkable efforts made to enhance agricultural productivity.

These schemes play a pivotal role in ensuring a reliable water supply for farming, mitigating the impact of erratic rainfall patterns, and promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

From large-scale public schemes to smaller private initiatives, this list provides valuable insights into the diverse irrigation projects that contribute to food security, employment creation, and economic development in Zimbabwe.

List of Irrigation Schemes in Zimbabwe

The irrigation scheme in Zimbabwe is an integral component of the country’s agricultural development strategy.

It involves the systematic application of water to cultivated land to supplement rainfall and meet the water requirements of crops.

Read Also: List of Irrigation Schemes in Uganda

The scheme aims to provide a reliable and controlled water supply, allowing farmers to cultivate crops throughout the year and mitigate the impact of climate variability.

Both public and private irrigation schemes exist in Zimbabwe, ranging from large-scale projects to smaller community-based initiatives.

These schemes utilize diverse irrigation methods such as surface irrigation, sprinkler systems, and drip irrigation, tailored to suit the specific requirements of different crops and agroecological zones.

Read Also: List Of Irrigation Schemes in Tanzania

The objectives of the irrigation scheme in Zimbabwe include increasing agricultural productivity, promoting food security, enhancing rural livelihoods, and stimulating economic growth.

By ensuring a consistent water supply, these schemes contribute to multiple cropping seasons, higher crop yields, and the cultivation of a wide range of crops.

Water sources for irrigation in Zimbabwe include rivers, dams, boreholes, and shallow wells.

The irrigation infrastructure typically consists of canals, pipes, reservoirs, and water distribution networks that efficiently deliver water to the fields.

Here is a list of irrigation schemes in Zimbabwe, categorized under public and private irrigation schemes:

Read Also: List of Irrigation Schemes in South Africa

#1. Public Irrigation Schemes

  1. Mundi-Mataga Irrigation Scheme
  2. Nyakomba Irrigation Scheme
  3. Zhove Irrigation Scheme
  4. Chisumbanje Irrigation Scheme
  5. Mwenje Irrigation Scheme
  6. Gairezi Irrigation Scheme
  7. Manyuchi Irrigation Scheme
  8. Chivero Irrigation Scheme
  9. Kanyemba Irrigation Scheme
  10. Rusitu Irrigation Scheme
  11. Mushandike Irrigation Scheme
  12. Zhove Irrigation Scheme
  13. Gokwe North Irrigation Scheme
  14. Zhove Irrigation Scheme
  15. Marovanyati Irrigation Scheme

#2. Private Irrigation Schemes

  1. Hippo Valley Estate Irrigation Scheme
  2. Tongaat Hulett Triangle Estate Irrigation Scheme
  3. Sable Chemicals Irrigation Scheme
  4. Border Timbers Irrigation Scheme
  5. Pote Irrigation Scheme
  6. Kondozi Farm Irrigation Scheme
  7. Cairns Foods Irrigation Scheme
  8. Kwekwe Irrigation Scheme
  9. Mazowe Citrus Estate Irrigation Scheme
  10. Tanganda Tea Company Irrigation Scheme
  11. Save Irrigation Scheme
  12. Macdom Investments Irrigation Scheme
  13. Longwe Irrigation Scheme
  14. Beta Bricks Irrigation Scheme
  15. Stapleford Irrigation Scheme

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, as there are numerous irrigation schemes in Zimbabwe. The mentioned schemes represent a range of public and private initiatives that contribute to agricultural development and irrigation practices in the country.

Read Also: List of Irrigation Schemes in Nigeria

Types Of Irrigation Systems in Zimbabwe

There are several types of irrigation systems utilized in Zimbabwe to enhance agricultural productivity. Below are some of the common types:

#1. Surface Irrigation

Surface irrigation is a widely practiced method in Zimbabwe. It involves the application of water to the soil surface, allowing it to infiltrate and reach plant roots.

Subtypes of surface irrigation systems include basin irrigation, furrow irrigation, and border irrigation.

Read Also:  Plant Propagation Methods in South Africa PDF [Complete Guide]

Read Also: List of Irrigation Schemes in Kenya

This method is suitable for a variety of crops and can be implemented on both flat and sloping terrains.

#2. Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler irrigation involves the use of sprinkler heads or nozzles to distribute water over the cultivated land in a manner similar to rainfall.

This system is suitable for a wide range of soil types and can be used for various crops.

Sprinkler irrigation helps conserve water by reducing evaporation and allows for precise water application, minimizing wastage.

#3. Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation is a highly efficient system used in Zimbabwe, particularly for horticultural crops and gardens.

It delivers water directly to the plant roots through a network of drip lines or emitters. Drip irrigation reduces water loss due to evaporation and minimizes weed growth.

It also enables the precise application of water and nutrients, promoting optimal plant growth and water conservation.

#4. Center Pivot Irrigation

Center pivot irrigation involves a system of rotating sprinklers mounted on a central pivot point. The sprinklers move in a circular pattern, irrigating a large circular area.

This method is commonly used for large-scale farming in Zimbabwe, particularly in areas with flat terrain.

It provides uniform water distribution and can be automated for efficient operation.

#5. Subsurface Irrigation

Subsurface irrigation, also known as subsurface drip irrigation (SDI), involves burying drip lines or emitters underground, directly delivering water to the root zone of plants.

This method reduces water evaporation and minimizes weed growth. Subsurface irrigation is suitable for crops with shallow root systems and helps conserve water by reducing surface runoff.

#6. Micro-Irrigation

Micro-irrigation refers to a family of irrigation systems that deliver water in small, frequent doses directly to the plant roots.

This includes drip irrigation and micro-sprinkler systems. Micro-irrigation systems are efficient, water-saving methods that can be tailored to the specific water requirements of different crops, making them suitable for a variety of farming practices in Zimbabwe.

Sources of Water for Irrigation in Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, various sources of water are utilized for irrigation to support agricultural activities. Let’s explore some of the common sources:

#1. Rivers and Streams

Rivers and streams are significant sources of water for irrigation in Zimbabwe.

Major rivers such as the Zambezi, Limpopo, and Save, as well as smaller streams, provide a consistent supply of water.

Irrigation schemes located near these water bodies can tap into them through diversion channels or pumping systems.

#2. Dams and Reservoirs

Dams and reservoirs play a crucial role in water storage for irrigation purposes.

Zimbabwe has numerous dams and reservoirs, both large and small, strategically built to capture and store water during the rainy season.

These water bodies serve as reliable sources for irrigation, ensuring a steady supply of water throughout the year.

#3. Groundwater

Groundwater is an essential source of water for irrigation in Zimbabwe. It is accessed through boreholes and wells drilled into aquifers beneath the ground.

Groundwater provides a reliable and consistent water supply, particularly in regions where surface water sources may be limited or unreliable.

#4. Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is another source of water for irrigation, especially in areas with irregular rainfall patterns.

Farmers collect rainwater from rooftops, ponds, or other catchment areas, storing it in tanks or reservoirs for later use in irrigation.

This method helps supplement water supply during dry periods and reduces reliance on other sources.

#5. Treated Wastewater

In some cases, treated wastewater or effluent from urban areas or industrial processes can be used for irrigation.

This practice helps conserve freshwater resources and provides an additional source of water for agricultural activities.

Proper treatment and monitoring are essential to ensure the quality and safety of the water used.

Importance Of Irrigation Schemes in Zimbabwe

  1. Enhanced Agricultural Productivity: Irrigation schemes in Zimbabwe play a vital role in increasing agricultural productivity. By providing a reliable water supply, these schemes enable farmers to cultivate crops throughout the year, reducing dependence on rainfall. This leads to improved crop yields, increased production, and enhanced food security.
  2. Diversification of Crops: Irrigation schemes facilitate the cultivation of a wide range of crops in Zimbabwe. Farmers can grow high-value crops, fruits, and vegetables that are in demand both locally and for export. This diversification not only contributes to agricultural income but also reduces the country’s reliance on imports.
  3. Mitigation of Climate Risks: Zimbabwe experiences erratic rainfall patterns and prolonged dry spells, which pose significant risks to rain-fed agriculture. Irrigation schemes help mitigate these climate risks by providing a controlled water supply, ensuring crops receive adequate moisture during critical growth stages.
  4. Employment Creation: Irrigation schemes create employment opportunities, particularly in rural areas. From construction and maintenance of irrigation infrastructure to on-farm activities such as planting, harvesting, and post-harvest handling, these schemes generate jobs and contribute to rural livelihoods.
  5. Economic Development: The development of irrigation schemes in Zimbabwe contributes to overall economic growth. Increased agricultural productivity and diversification translate into higher agricultural exports, foreign exchange earnings, and improved rural incomes. This, in turn, stimulates local economies and fosters sustainable rural development.
  6. Water Conservation: Efficient irrigation systems and practices employed in irrigation schemes promote water conservation. Technologies like drip irrigation and micro-sprinklers minimize water wastage by delivering water precisely to the root zone of plants. By conserving water resources, these schemes contribute to long-term water sustainability.
  7. Knowledge Transfer and Skill Development: Irrigation schemes provide opportunities for knowledge transfer and skill development. Farmers involved in these schemes receive training in modern irrigation techniques, water management, and sustainable farming practices. This equips them with valuable skills and knowledge to improve agricultural practices and productivity.
  8. Social Stability: Irrigation schemes contribute to social stability in rural communities. They provide a stable source of income, reduce rural-urban migration, and promote sustainable livelihoods. The availability of water for irrigation enhances resilience against food insecurity and poverty, improving the overall well-being of rural communities.
Read Also:  Drip Irrigation System in Sri Lanka

Benefits Of Irrigation Schemes in Zimbabwe

  1. Increased Agricultural Productivity: Irrigation schemes in Zimbabwe significantly boost agricultural productivity by providing a reliable water supply, enabling farmers to cultivate crops throughout the year. This leads to increased yields, improved crop quality, and enhanced food production, contributing to food security and reducing dependency on rain-fed agriculture.
  2. Crop Diversification and Commercialization: Irrigation schemes allow for the cultivation of a wide range of crops beyond traditional rain-fed agriculture. Farmers can grow high-value cash crops, horticultural produce, and export-oriented crops. This diversification opens up new market opportunities and enhances agricultural income.
  3. Employment Generation: Irrigation schemes create employment opportunities, particularly in rural areas where agriculture is a primary source of livelihood. They provide jobs in irrigation infrastructure development, operation and maintenance, and on-farm activities, thus contributing to poverty reduction and rural development.
  4. Enhanced Water Management: Irrigation schemes promote efficient water management practices. By utilizing technologies such as drip irrigation and precision water application systems, water is used more effectively, minimizing wastage and conserving this precious resource.
  5. Resilience to Climate Change: Irrigation schemes in Zimbabwe help farmers adapt to climate change by reducing dependence on rainfall patterns that are becoming increasingly unpredictable. With reliable access to water, farmers can mitigate the risks associated with droughts and extended dry spells.
  6. Increased Agricultural Income and Rural Development: The success of irrigation schemes leads to increased agricultural income, improved living standards, and enhanced rural development. As farmers generate more revenue, they can invest in farm inputs, education, healthcare, and infrastructure, thereby stimulating local economies.

Impact of Irrigation Schemes in Zimbabwe

  1. Improved Food Security: Irrigation schemes play a crucial role in improving food security by ensuring a steady supply of agricultural products. With increased yields and diversified crop production, the country is better equipped to meet the nutritional needs of its population and reduce reliance on food imports.
  2. Enhanced Rural Livelihoods: Irrigation schemes have a positive impact on rural livelihoods by providing stable income sources, reducing poverty, and creating employment opportunities. This contributes to poverty reduction and improves the overall well-being of rural communities.
  3. Agricultural Export Growth: Irrigation schemes facilitate the production of high-quality agricultural products, including export-oriented crops. This boosts agricultural exports, generates foreign exchange earnings, and contributes to economic growth and balance of trade.
Read Also:  How to Start a Farm in Texas [Practical Guide]

Limitations facing irrigation schemes in Zimbabwe

  1. Water Scarcity and Unequal Distribution: Water scarcity is a significant challenge facing irrigation schemes in Zimbabwe. Inadequate water resources and uneven distribution across regions limit the expansion and effectiveness of irrigation systems.
  2. Infrastructure and Maintenance: Many irrigation schemes in Zimbabwe face challenges related to inadequate infrastructure, including outdated equipment, poor maintenance, and limited access to funding for repairs and upgrades. This can lead to inefficiencies and reduced effectiveness of the irrigation systems.
  3. Lack of Technical Knowledge and Skills: Limited technical knowledge and skills among farmers and irrigation scheme operators pose a limitation to the successful implementation and management of irrigation schemes. There is a need for capacity building and training programs to enhance agricultural practices and efficient water management.
  4. Access to Finance: Limited access to finance and credit facilities hampers the development and expansion of irrigation schemes. Lack of financial resources prevents farmers from investing in necessary infrastructure, equipment, and technologies, limiting their ability to fully harness the benefits of irrigation.
  5. Environmental Impacts: Inadequate management practices and improper water usage in some irrigation schemes can lead to negative environmental impacts such as soil erosion, water pollution, and depletion of natural resources. Sustainable management practices should be emphasized to mitigate these impacts.

Irrigation Schemes In Zimbabwe PDF

To access a comprehensive PDF document on irrigation schemes in Zimbabwe, you can visit the official website of the Department of Irrigation Zimbabwe or relevant agricultural organizations.

These documents provide detailed information about various irrigation schemes, their locations, design, and management practices, facilitating a deeper understanding of irrigation systems in the country.

What Are Irrigation Schemes

Irrigation schemes are planned and managed systems that provide a controlled water supply to agricultural lands.

They involve the development of infrastructure, such as canals, pipelines, dams, and pumps, to deliver water to cultivated areas.

Irrigation schemes are designed to supplement rainfall, ensuring consistent moisture levels for crop growth and improving agricultural productivity.

Mushandike Irrigation Scheme

The Mushandike Irrigation Scheme is a prominent irrigation project located in the Masvingo Province of Zimbabwe.

Spanning an area of approximately 400 hectares, the scheme focuses on the cultivation of various horticultural crops, including citrus fruits, tomatoes, and onions.

It relies on water from the Mushandike Dam, which is channeled through a well-designed network of canals and pipelines to provide irrigation to the cultivated fields.

The Mushandike Irrigation Scheme plays a vital role in enhancing agricultural productivity, improving food security, and contributing to rural development in the region.

Department of Irrigation Zimbabwe

The Department of Irrigation Zimbabwe is a governmental organization responsible for the planning, development, and management of irrigation projects throughout the country.

The department plays a crucial role in formulating irrigation policies, designing irrigation infrastructure, and providing technical expertise and support to irrigation schemes.

It is actively involved in capacity building, training programs, and research initiatives to promote sustainable and efficient irrigation practices in Zimbabwe.

The Department of Irrigation Zimbabwe is committed to enhancing agricultural productivity, ensuring water resource management, and supporting the livelihoods of farmers across the country.

Agricultural NGOs in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe hosts several agricultural non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that contribute significantly to the development and improvement of agricultural practices in the country.

These NGOs play a vital role in supporting smallholder farmers, promoting sustainable agricultural techniques, and implementing various initiatives to enhance agricultural productivity and food security.

Some notable agricultural NGOs operating in Zimbabwe include Welthungerhilfe Zimbabwe, ActionAid Zimbabwe, Oxfam in Zimbabwe, CARE Zimbabwe, Practical Action Zimbabwe, Self Help Development Foundation (SHDF), and Mercy Corps Zimbabwe.

These organizations provide valuable resources, technical assistance, training, and advocacy to farmers, contributing to the overall development of the agricultural sector.

Chitora Irrigation Scheme

The Chitora Irrigation Scheme is a significant irrigation project situated in the Mashonaland Central Province of Zimbabwe.

Covering an area of approximately 200 hectares, the scheme focuses on the cultivation of crops such as maize, tobacco, and vegetables.

It utilizes water from a nearby water source, which is distributed through a well-planned irrigation network to irrigate the cultivated fields.

The Chitora Irrigation Scheme plays a crucial role in boosting agricultural production, improving local livelihoods, and contributing to food security in the country.


Discovering the extensive list of irrigation schemes in Zimbabwe highlights the nation’s commitment to agricultural development. These schemes, both public and private, have brought about increased food security, economic growth, and employment opportunities. They serve as a testament to Zimbabwe’s dedication to harnessing water resources for sustainable farming practices.


Author: David

David is a Kenyan farmer from the rural village of Nairobi. Growing up, he was surrounded by the beauty of the Kenyan countryside, which sparked his passion for farming. After completing his education, he decided to pursue a career in agriculture and has since dedicated his life to providing food for his local community. David is an experienced farmer and is experienced in a range of agricultural practices, including crop rotation, animal husbandry and soil management. He is passionate about promoting sustainable agriculture and is actively working to reduce food insecurity in his community.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Alert: Content selection is disabled!!