Govt optimistic of winter harvest target

Source: Govt optimistic of winter harvest target | Sunday Mail (Local News)

Debra Matabvu

ZIMBABWE plans to cut its wheat import bill by US$138 million this year as the country is expecting a significant harvest from the winter crop.

Preliminary assessments indicate the cereal crop is in good condition.

The country has set a target of 340 000 tonnes of wheat from 66 000 hectares.

Last year, 250 000 tonnes were produced against an annual requirement of 400 000 tonnes. Production of the crop is being supported from the Government-guaranteed CBZ Agro-Yield programme, private contractors, and the Presidential Winter Wheat Scheme.

Minister of State in the Office of the President and Cabinet in charge of Monitoring the Implementation of Special Agricultural and Related Programmes, Mr David Marapira, said assessments carried out so far indicate that the country will meet its 340 000 tonnes target.

Early harvest of the winter crop, he said, will ensure that planting of the summer crop is done on time.

Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe chairperson Mr Tafadzwa Musarara said interventions undertaken by Government will ensure that the country continues to record bumper harvests.

Agritex acting director Mr Stancilae Tapererwa said weekly reports form extension officers in various provinces across the country show that the wheat is in “good to very good condition”.