Wheat planting reaches 80 percent target

By Tendai Munengwa

THE government has expressed satisfaction with the current wheat situation in the country, amid revelations that 62 000 hectares of the crop have germinated.

Latest statistics released by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development on wheat production reveal that the country has planted 62 000 hectares against a target of 75 000 hectares.

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr John Basera gave credit to the private sector for complementing government efforts towards achieving flour self-sufficiency.

“We are happy that through our government programmes, we have put up 37 hectares, while credit must also go to the Food Contractors Association – a private sector drive which we mandated to produce 40 percent of their required raw materials. They have so far planted 25 000 hectares against the target of 23 000,” said Dr Basera.

The wheat planting window was extended to this Wednesday and expectations are high that the set targets will be met with more wheat still germinating.

“We have extended the planting deadline to 15 and we expect that the substantial hectarage of the late planted crop germinate we might hit the target of miss it by a small percentage,” he said.

This year, the country has set a target to produce 380 000 metric tonnes against a national requirement of 340 000 tonnes.