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Jica keen to fund Zim infrastructure, irrigation projects

The Japan International Agency (Jica) is keen to provide grant aid for infrastructure and irrigation projects in Zimbabwe that have a huge impact on Zimbabweans, an official has said. Jica’s official in charge of Zimbabwe Mr Kurisu Masanori said the size of grant aid to Zimbabwe averaged between $20 and $30 per project.

“This time we had to make an exception and fund two projects at the same time instead of one,” he said.

The $20 million Nyakomba irrigation scheme is due to be completed next year, while the $26 million grant for the 6,5km stretch on the Chirundu-Makuti road was set to be completed in 2021.

“We are looking for more projects and are discussing with Government officials in Harare,” he said.

“We are still interested in irrigation and infrastructure improvement but we are yet to come up with specific pipeline projects.

“We are eager to find new pipeline projects which have a huge impact like Nyakomba.”

Apart from the two projects the Japanese government was also implementing the smallholder horticulture empowerment project where it is assisting farmers to identify markets first before deciding on what to grow.

In addition to grants, Mr Masanori said they are also providing technical cooperation of up to $5 million for four to five-year projects and support for training programmes.

During the past two years the Japanese government has provided $46 million as a grant and $6,1 million in technical cooperation.

Meanwhile, the Japan External Trade Organisation says Zimbabwe has a lot of potential to grow and Japan was hopeful of renewed relations between the two countries following the ushering in of the new dispensation.

The organisation’s executive vice president Katsumi Hirano, however, said they were waiting to see the kind of action that Government will take.

“I lived in Harare for three years between 1994 and 1997. It was a wonderful time and both our countries enjoyed good relations and investment so I hope to reach such a situation again.

source: newsday

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