ZIMBABWE – According to data from Zimbabwe’s Rural Agricultural Advisory Services, wheat harvest in 2023 stood at 468,000 tonnes recording a year-on-year increase of 25%.

The country, whose annual wheat consumption needs to amount to 360,000 tonnes, can now count on a production surplus of 108,000 tonnes to support its ambitions in the export segment in 2023/2024.

The stock erased the previous production record of 375,000 tonnes in 2022. In addition, the area sown this year increased by 11% to 90,186 hectares.

Speaking on the subject, Shadreck Makombe, president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) said that the performance achieved by the productive apparatus this year was made possible thanks to the intervention programs implemented by the ‘executive.

“Obtaining such a large volume of wheat is a good signal of the growth of the sector and our commitment,” explained the official.

According to him, this year, extension workers were on the ground helping farmers adopt good agronomic practices to improve productivity. 

He applauded farmers who managed to surpass the previous production record, adding that he expects the same to happen the next season.  

In detail, the province of Mashonaland West, the main growing area, supplied 138,000 tonnes of wheat, or around 30% of national production, followed by the provinces of Mashonaland East (18.4%) and Mashonaland Central (18.4%). 3%). 

The rest of the harvest comes from the Midlands, Manicaland, Matabeleland Southern, and Masvingo provinces.

The agricultural results conform with the recent announcement from Mr Graeme Murdoch, the chairperson of the Food Crop Contractors Association (FCCA) while updating the 2023 winter wheat harvesting status in the country.

Mr Graeme stated that the country is targeting over 420 000 tonnes of cereal this season up from last season’s 380 000 tonnes which led to the country achieving self-sufficiency

According to him, he was confident since by early November, 60 percent of the cereal had so far been harvested with some farmers already delivering their produce to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and the Zimbabwe Mercantile Exchange (ZMX) trade platform.