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Monday, May 27, 2024

Wheat farmers optimistic of contributing to national target

Story by Wellington Makonese

THE winter wheat cropping season is in full swing, with farmers in Mashonaland East Province confident of contributing significantly to the national target of 420 000 metric tonnes.

After the nation recorded a historic wheat harvest last season, farmers are eager to contribute more this year to ensure there is sufficient grain for the nation and exports.

Zimbabwe has set a national target of 420 000 tonnes this year and farmers are bullish of contributing significantly towards that feat to ensure self-sufficiency and facilitate regional exports.

With the aid of government financing models, Marondera-based farmer Mr Andrew Faber has a combined 120 hectares of wheat, where he is expecting to harvest at least eight tonnes per hectare.

“I have planted for the second time around 65 hectares of wheat another 40 and then I have close to 50 of barley which I’m contracted to delta. The good thing is I have been working closely with government getting assistance through the AFC facility, so I expected at least 7 to 8 tonnes per hectare,” he said.
Another farmer, Mr Craig Mannex expects to contribute at least 100 tonnes to national reserves, “We have had challenges with some diseases which we are navigating past but generally we have been progressing, ZESA is there inputs are available, so I think we can help in terms of food sufficiency.”

Zimbabwe had initially set a target of planting 90 000hectares of wheat this year, up from 85 000hectares last year, but the target was missed by four thousand hectares due to challenges such as late planting.
This year the country is poised to get about 60 000 tonnes more than the national annual requirement of 360 00p tonnes as a result of the Second Republic’s friendly policies and agriculture enhancing strategies.

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