ZIMBABWE – The government of Zimbabwe targets to put 90 000ha under wheat in a bid to surpass last year’s yield of 375 000 tonnes following various interventions implemented by the Government and the private sector to bolster production.
The country’s optimism follows the recent milestone in achieving wheat self-sufficiency and hence the country now targets the export market for the 2023 crop season.
According to Ecofin Agency, CBZ Agro Yield and AFC banks are ready to assist farmers in the production of the crop as the country is earmarking to produce another record harvest this season after becoming self-sufficient.
In addition to local initiatives to support production, Zimbabwe received a chunk of the US$25,5 million African Development Bank (AfDB)’s fund to boost wheat and food production and avert potential food shortages.
Speaking during an Irrigation Stakeholders Indaba, Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development permanent secretary Dr. John Basera said the country was food secure, adding that farmers should continue to work harder so that the country will be the net exporter of food
Dr. Basera urged farmers to continue and accelerate planting before 15 June to ensure that the crop will not be affected by early rains. “Teamwork works,” he said.
“Our target for this year was 85 000 hectares and we have seen some recent developments Zimbabwe is one of the two countries in Africa which is food and wheat self-sufficiency together with Ethiopia, those are the two countries which are wheat self-sufficiency,” he said.
According to a recent update from Agricultural and Rural Development Advisory Services, high-production areas have already surpassed their targets indicating that Masvingo province has planted 2 218ha, surpassing its target of 2 100ha.
In addition, so far, 81 000ha out of the targeted 90 000ha have been planted, with Midlands Province having planted 9 423ha, surpassing its target of 9 000ha.
Mashonaland Central province has so far planted 14 887ha from a target of 18 200ha, while Mashonaland East province has planted 12 728ha from a target of 14 000ha.
Mashonaland West has planted 27 714ha from a target of 32 000ha, while Manicaland Province has so far planted 8 803ha from a target hectare of 10 000ha. Farmers are also urged to continue planting wheat until 15 June to ensure that the crop will not be compromised by early rains
This is coming from a reality of the projection of about 2.3 million tonnes of maize last season in addition to 150 000 tonnes of traditional grains.
In optimism, Dr. John Basera revealed that in terms of food and cereals, the country is around three million tonnes adding that he is calling upon farmers to do it again this season.