Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
At least 52 000 hectares of wheat had germinated by the June 15 planting deadline and follow-up visits by extension officers to farms are underway to ensure high-quality output.
The hectarage that has germinated is 5 percent more than the 49 602 hectares during the same period last year. The country is targeting 85 000 hectares this year.
Agritex acting director, Mr Stancilae Tapererwa said 65 635 hectares had been contracted with 1 354 farmers under the Agroyield (Command Agriculture).
“This represents 9 percent above the set target of 60 000 hectares. Under the Presidential, most wheat and barley had emerged and follow-up visits are being made to farmers to ensure quality output,” said Mr Tapererewa.
Mr Tapererewa said more than 33 300 hectares under Agroyield programme had germinated, 2 636 hectares from the Presidential Scheme and 16 022 hectares from the private sector had germinated.
The winter wheat is in good condition with the bulk of the early planted crop now at the flowering stage.
Most farmers with an early crop have already applied top dressing and some are now applying herbicides. Agricultural expert and Agricultural Rural Development Authority chairman, Mr Ivan Craig said there has not been any interruption in terms of power supply and farers were completing their irrigation cycles without challenges.
“The condition of the crop is good. The wheat programme his season is promising as farmers have enough water and the power supplies have not been erratic as was the case some past seasons.
“We have enough water in the dams to take the wheat through to harvesting. The crop is however at different stages of development. The early crop is at the flowering stage while in some areas the crop has just germinated,” he said.