Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Government has set pre-planting wheat floor producer prices of $175 741,86 per tonne for ordinary grade while the premium grade will fetch $193 316 per tonne as the Second Republic seeks to incentivise farmers ahead of the winter wheat season.
Presently, the price is pegged at $55 517,69 per tonne for ordinary grade wheat and $66 621,22 per tonne for premium grade wheat.
Speaking during yesterday’s post-Cabinet briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Cabinet further resolved that the preparations for an expanded winter wheat programme will be supported by timely Government guarantees and the facilitation of the private sector value chain financing.
The Presidential Winter Wheat Programme will be funded wholly by Government to the tune of US$9 293 820.
“The nation is being further informed that Cabinet approved the pre-planting wheat floor producer prices of $175 741,86 per metric tonne for ordinary grade at a 15 percent return on investment, and $193 316 per metric tonne for premium grade wheat. A viable producer price will incentivise farmers to commit more land to wheat production.”
She said Cabinet received and adopted a report on preparedness for the 2022 winter cereal production presented by Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka.
Minister Mutsvangwa said 75 000 hectares had been targeted for wheat production during the 2022 winter cereal production season, compared to 66 435 hectares planted in 2021
“The hectarage which will be sponsored by CBZ Agro-Yield, AFC Land Bank and private sector contribution will bring total estimated production to 383 500 metric tonnes, against a national requirement of 360 000 metric tonnes, thereby ensuring that the country meets its domestic consumption needs,” she said.
Outlining the breakdown of the hectarage and expected yields, Minister Mutsvangwa said CBZ Agro-Yield was targeting to contract 36 500 hectares at an estimated yield of 4,5 tonnes per hectare, with the estimated production set at 164 250 tonnes.
AFC Land Bank is set to contract 10 000 hectares at an estimated yield of 4,5 tonnes per hectare, with estimated production of 45 000 tonnes while the private sector will contract 23 000 hectares of wheat at an estimated yield of 6,5 tonnes per hectare with the estimated production pegged at 149 500 tonnes.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the Presidential Inputs Scheme was targeting to contract 5 500 hectares for wheat, compared to 5 000 hectares targeted in the 2021 season, with Barley production to be wholly funded by the private sector expected to target 7 000 hectares.
There will be no winter maize production to ensure sufficient wheat for the country.
“Farmers are being advised that the country has enough certified wheat seed, fertilisers and chemicals in stock for the 2022 winter cereal production season,” she said.
There will be two farm mechanisation facilities to the tune of US$154 million and the facility by Belarus and John Deere to augment existing tractor fleet and implements.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet had also been briefed on the first round crop and livestock assessment for the 2021/2022 season presented by Minister Masuka.
“Cabinet wishes to advise the nation that overally, the first round crop and livestock survey confirmed that climate change is upon us and affecting agricultural production. The nation is being assured that every effort is being made to ensure that no Zimbabwean will die of hunger. Adequate stocks of cereals are available for all needy families,” she said.
She said measures that have been put in place to mitigate the effects of climate change and guarantee household food self-sufficiency included ensuring that crops grown and livestock raised in an agro-ecological region will be determined by agro-ecological requirements.
There will also be the accelerated climate proofing strategies for small holder farmers such as Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme to have mandatory pre-conditions of training, holing out and mulching among other strategies.
Other measures include accelerated irrigation development targeting 50 000 hectares per year, building resilience by extending the Zunde raMambo/Isiphala seNkosi concept to include Village Heads and Headmen and upgrading the Presidential Tick Grease Programme and intensifying the Dip Tank Rehabilitation Programme in line with the Second Republic’s mantra of not leaving anyone or place behind.