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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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120 megawatts of electricity ring-fenced for wheat production

Story by John Nhandara

WHEAT farmers have been assured of uninterrupted power supply during the winter cropping season after government ring-fenced 120 megawatts of power for production of the strategic crop.

The move is set to further improve the country’s wheat output, amid revelations that the targeted hectarage for the strategic crop has been set at 85 000 metric tonnes this winter season.

“This winter season we are looking at a record 85 000 hectares of wheat to produce at 408 000metric tonnes to assure the nation if wheat security. The government has ring-fenced 120 megawatts that is required to irrigate the winter crop. Additionally we now have increased production at Kariba. For the next three months, production will be raised by 100 megawats. And we have put farmers into clusters so they can receive uninterrupted power supply,” said the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr Anxious Masuka.

ZESA Spokesperson Dr George Manyaya said mechanisms are already in place to guarantee electricity supply to all winter wheat farmers.

“Subsequent to the recent update on the power supply situation on 25 April, we have put in place mechanisms have put in place to guarantee electricity supply to all the winter wheat farmers across the country. The utility is cognisant of its role and expectations in powering the sector to achieve wheat self-sufficiency and meet government’s target,” he noted.

Last year, the country produced a record 375 000metric tonnes of wheat, a figure slightly above the national annual requirement of 360 000.

Government is targeting to sustainably increase crop production in an effort to meet and surpass the national requirements for both human consumption and industrial use.

The pre-planting price for wheat has been set at US$520 per metric tonne.

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