By Tendai Munengwa
FARMERS have been implored to adhere to the recommended agronomic practices in the country’s quest to achieve wheat and flour self-sufficiency in the face of anticipated global cereal crop shortages.
While the light rains being experienced country might not be good for those farmers yet to harvest their summer crop – the showers provide the best moisture condition for the growth of wheat.
A visit by ZBC to some farms in Mashonaland East Province shows a thriving wheat crop estimated to produce eight tonnes per hectare.
“This is an early crop and from the look of things we are on track to achieve very good yields . What we are doing is making sure that we apply adequate fertilizers and monitor the growth of the crop,” says Tichaona Chikwede a farm manager.
After hitting eight tonnes of wheat last season Walter Tupu a farm manager in Goromonzi implored those with late planted crop to stick by the best agronomic practices and target at least an average of five tonnes per hectare.
“We are expecting to surpass last year’s yields of 8 tonnes and to other farmers especially with the late crop I urge them to forge ahead and apply the best practice, if they do so we are assured of a good harvest for the nation,” he said
With sponsorship of wheat from government programmes complimented by the private sector the farmers have for the first time many years surpassed the 75 thousand hectares target of wheat set by government.
Statistics from the last cabinet briefing showed that farmers have for the first in many years hit the 100 percent went targeted hectarage. 83 000 hectares are reported to have been planted by the set deadline of 15 June against a target of 75 000.
With all things being equal the planted hectarage is expected to produce 380 000 tonnes of wheat against a national requirement of 340 000 tonnes.