Government addresses power supply hiccup in wheat production

Government addresses power supply hiccup in wheat production

By Tendai Munengwa

THE Government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring wheat farmers get uninterrupted power supply after making swift interventions to address supply challenges experienced during the past week.

In the past week, ZESA Holdings battled to generate adequate power due to a fault at Hwange Power Station, which affected the electricity supply across the country.

The fault has since been rectified but did not spare wheat farmers who appealed for urgent interventions to save the strategic cereal crop.

“We have a big challenge here. We have been promised adequate power from the beginning of the season, but this development where power is becoming rampant is not good for our yields per hectare. We appeal to the government to continue giving us priority until the crop is matured,” said Nyabira Farmers Association chair, Cde Andy Mhlanga.

“As you are aware, the bulk of the wheat crop now requires adequate irrigation. What happened last week should be avoided at all costs because farmers cannot afford to lose their wheat crop in the face of global shortages as a result of the Ukraine war,” noted Paul Zakaria, Zimbabwe Farmers Union secretary general.

The government has assured wheat farmers that adequate power has been ring-fenced to ensure full water cycles for irrigation.

“We have received reports of power outages countywide, but farmers are assured of the electricity to keep them on the fields. We have just recovered some of our major thermal power stations, so, starting this week, everything will be ordered,” said Honourable Soda Zhemu, the Minister of Energy and Power Development.

The country has put a record 80 000 hectares under wheat this season, with the bulk of the cereal crop now maturing.