The large irrigation scheme for 189 communal farmers growing citrus fruit spearheaded by the Zimbabwean government and its development partners has transformed many rural lives in the semi-arid district of Beitbridge.
The major turning point for the Shashe community was 2011 after the government and its partners revamped a 200-hectare scheme that was almost collapsing due to high operational costs. The planting of citrus meant that another seven years had to elapse before the first serious citrus harvest was reaped in 2018. Since then the harvest has been growing fast. The communal irrigation project has become a model for Beitbridge district.
The 189 communal farmers at the irrigation-driven citrus project are now producing an average of 700 tons of oranges each season to supply the Beitbridge Juice Plant run by Schweppes Holdings.