Andrew Muvishi Mashonaland East Correspondent
The producer price of wheat will be reviewed to cover high production costs incurred by farmers, a Government official has said.
Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister Douglas Karoro at a field day in Goromonzi last week said Government was geared towards promoting wheat production to reduce imports and channel the funds towards other developmental projects.
He expressed concern that some farmers were no longer willing to grow wheat due to power challenges in previous seasons, which affected the crop.
“Government is committed to support wheat farmers,” said Deputy Minister
“They are classified into zones so that they will not face power supply interruptions.”
Government has set a target of 80 000 hectares across the country with a targeted yield of 415 000 tonnes of wheat. The country requires 400 000 tonnes of wheat annually.
“We are going to prioritise wheat farmers through providing essential equipment and inputs timely,” he said.
“Government has sourced combine harvesters from outside the country that will be allocated to all provinces. We want to ensure all farmers have access to the machinery.”
Deputy Minister Karoro urged farmers to take advantage of Command Agriculture to boost production and productivity and also contribute towards the well-being of the economy.
“I challenge all farmers to play their part in increasing productivity so that we manage to feed the nation and reduce the burden of importing wheat,” he said.
“We have learnt a lesson from this Covid-19 pandemic that we should rely on what we have.”
There have been concerns by farmers on the distribution of inputs, with others alleging that they were getting top dressing fertiliser first ahead of basal fertilisers.
Speaking on behalf of Mashonaland East Minister of State and Provincial Affairs Aplonia Munzverengwi, the director in her office, Mr Muchemwa Mugwisi, applauded Government for support to farmers through issuing inputs for traditional grains.
“We are grateful for the support which Government has given us as a province to ensure the production of traditional grains,” he said.
“Our farmers have embraced the programme. We also want to thank our Agritex extension officers for training farmers on conservation agriculture.”