Zimbabwe is planning to put 75 000 hectares under wheat this winter and is expecting to produce 385 000 tonnes against a national requirement of 360 000 tonnes.
It says there will be no winter maize as all efforts will be concentrated on wheat production.
Although the area put under maize this year is 1% less than that of last season and the crop assessment shows that this year’s harvest has been affected by poor rains, the government says no one will die of hunger. Adequate stocks of cereals are available for all needy families.
Speaking after yesterday’s cabinet meeting, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the breakdown of the hectarages to be put under wheat and the expected yields are as follows:
- CBZ Agro-Yield is targeting to contracting 36 500 hectares. At an estimated yield of 4.5 tonnes per hectare, the estimated production is 164 250 tonnes;
- AFC Land Bank is targeting at contracting 10 000 hectares. At an estimated yield of 4.5 tonnes per hectare, the estimated production is 45 000 tonnes;
- The private sector will contract 23 000 hectares for wheat. At an estimated yield of 6,5 tonnes per hectare, the estimated production is 149 500 tonnes;
- The Presidential Input Scheme will target at contracting 5 500 hectares for wheat, compared to the 5 000 hectares targeted in the 2021 season;
Mutsvangwa said that the country has enough certified wheat seed, fertilisers and chemicals.
To augment the existing tractor fleet and implements, the government had put in place two mechanisation programmes- the Belarus and John Deere Farm Mechanisation Facilities.
“The US$103 million Belarus Farm Mechanisation Facilities is divided into two phases and will see the country receiving 1 813 tractors, 76 combine harvesters, 210 planters, 5 lowbed trucks and 5 disc harrows,” Mutsvangwa said.
“The Agricultural Finance Corporation Equipment Leasing Company has received 210 tractors, 32 combine harvesters and 130 planters under Phase 1, which are currently accessible to all winter wheat farmers, while individual farmers can purchase the equipment through local banks.
“Under the US$51 million John Deere Farm Mechanisation Facility, the country shall be receiving 1 300 tractors, 80 combine harvesters, 200 disc harrows, 600 planters, 100 boom sprayers and 100 trailers.
“To date 60 tractors, 35 combine harvesters, 66 disc harrows and 48 planters have been delivered and 60 tractors and 10 combine harvesters have been distributed.”
She said there was sufficient water in dams to irrigate the 75 000 hectares and the pre-planting price is $175 741.86 per tonne for ordinary grade wheat and $193 316.046 per tonne for premium grade.