Sunday Mail Reporter
Government has commended millers for bank rolling wheat farming saying the move is long overdue in ensuring increased cereal production and ease strain on the fiscus.
Zimbabwe requires at least 400 000 metric tonnes of wheat for bread making and other flour related confectionaries, but has been producing an average of less than 70 000 in the last 15 years.
Speaking at a recent dinner exhibition gala hosted by millers in Bulawayo, Industry and Commerce Minister, Nqobizita Mangaliso Ndlovu said the coming in of millers was expected to see wheat production rise to 150 000 metric tonnes in the short term period.
“The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has made positive strides to ensure the availability of grains and grain products through various initiatives,” he said
“I am also reliably informed that a technical committee to spearhead wheat contract farming for the next three years has been established and this is truly commendable.
“I was also informed that the expected output for this initiative will be at least 150 000 metric tonnes of wheat.
“The country is spending close to US$100 million in wheat imports annually.”
Minister Ndlovu said the Zimbabwe was currently saddled with importing at least seven months’ wheat requirement annually.
He said it was high time the country got a lasting local solutions for its wheat requirements.
“Command agriculture has shown that, as a country, we have the capacity to solve our pertinent problems,” said the minister,” said Minister Ndlovu.
Last month, GMAZ appointed a National Wheat Contract Farming Committee (NWCFC), chaired by Mr Tafadzwa Musarara to lead the winter wheat contract farming for the next three years.