Farmers focus on maximising wheat production

By Mhlomuli Ncube

WINTER wheat production is progressing well in various parts of the country with farmers at Bubi-Lupane Irrigation Scheme focusing on maximising yield per hectare after putting 180 hectares under wheat this season.

After last season’s success, the Bubi-Lupane Irrigation scheme is now eying more this year.

This season’s crop is already thriving and the farmers are anticipating a good harvest.

“For this wheat crop that you are seeing thriving now we expect to get 1 000 tonnes and then for the dividend each farmer is going to get US$2 600,” said Gerald Khumalo, chairperson of the scheme.

The technical expertise has been provided by the Agricultural Rural Development Authority (ARDA), which has also embarked on research to boost yields.

“We established 180 hectares of wheat and this time around we are focusing on boosting our productivity, ideally the yield per hectare, through sustainable management of desert Kalahari soils,” said Tinotenda Mhiko ARDA CEO.

For the government, improving people’s lives through irrigation schemes of this nature is a target that must be achieved against all odds.

“We are bringing opportunities to rural areas for rural development for the President’s Vision 2030, clearly agriculture enables that so on this 180-hectare piece we started doing wheat last year, we did a maize crop which they have just taken it off,” said Dr Anxious Masuka the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development.

The 90 households working at the scheme with ARDA recently delivered a summer maize crop of 792 tonnes.