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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Farmers chase wheat planting deadline

Story by Tapiwa Machemedze

Farmers are working flat out to meet the wheat planting deadline which ends on the 31st of May with room for late planting up to mid-June.

The government set a target 120 000 hectares of wheat this year, up from 91 000 hectares planted last season.

Mr Daniel Chinyemba is among thousands of farmers who are rushing to meet the 31st of May wheat planting deadline, which is three days away.

“Wheat planting is going well although it’s a very difficult year because we got the inputs late, we only managed to start planting on the 16th of May when we expected to start planting on 16 April to 1 May so, we started a month later. So far, we have planted almost 80 percent of the wheat, our target 120 hectares,” he said.

A farmer said, “For us to increase production we want the government to help us with pivots because we use lateral lines. For me to cover 100 hectares, it will take a long time compared to a pivot.”

An official in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water Fisheries and Rural Development, Mr Nhamo Mudada is optimistic that farmers will meet the set target as the ministry is working closely with them.

“Wheat is a strategic crop for the country and so we are working with farmers to meet the planting deadline,” he said

Water supply has been guaranteed this wheat planting season with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority reducing tariffs for farmers by 30 percent.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company has also ring-fenced wheat farms to ensure uninterrupted power supply although some downtime is being experienced due to breakdowns and vandalism on the grid.

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