Source: Govt targets 75 000ha winter wheat | The Herald May 2, 2019
Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement is targeting to put 75 000 hectares under wheat production in the forthcoming winter cropping season to ease the spiking demand of wheat.
In an interview, the ministry’s Deputy Minister Vangelis Haritatos said Government had adequate farming inputs for wheat production.
Deputy Minister Haritatos said 60 000 hectares will be under Command Agriculture, while 15 000ha will be sponsored by the private sector under private, public partnership (PPP).
He said the country’s major dams had adequate water to irrigate the required hectares.
“Wheat has always been a scarce commodity in Zimbabwe even prior to independence, so what we have done this year is that we have a private, public partnership (PPP),” he said.
“We have 15 000 hectares that are being sponsored by the private sector, we have 60 000 hectares under the Command Agriculture programme. We have enough seed, fertilisers and chemicals.”
Deputy Minister Haritatos said Government was looking forward to producing 70 percent of the country’s annual demand of wheat.
“So, in total we have 75 000 hectares that we are going to put under wheat production. If we do well on this we will produce more than 70 percent of the country’s annual demand of wheat,” he said. “The deficit will be 30 percent. Our dams have sufficient water for our target hectarage.”
Deputy Minister Haritatos said farmers should capitalise on the new producer price of wheat and maximize production.
He said if the country meets its wheat production target, it will reduce the import bill significantly as it will only import the 30 percent deficit.
“So, we encourage farmers to take up what is being offered by Government and the private sector,” he said.