Source: Zim misses winter wheat production target | eBusiness Weekly June 21, 2019
HARARE – Zimbabwean farmers have failed to put the targeted 75 000 hectares of land under winter wheat, increasing fears of shortages on the local market, the Senate heard on Thursday.
Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement deputy Minister Vangelis Haritatos told Senators during the question and answer session that failure to meet production targets meant increased imports to augment local supplies.
“This current season, we had enough inputs for 60 000 hectares under Command Agriculture and 15 000 hectares were under the private sector to make 75 000 hectares. Had we grown 75 000 hectares of wheat, this current season, it is my assessment that we would have enough wheat for the country and we would be almost sufficient,” he said.
“Unfortunately, due to the issues I mentioned, some farmers did not grow wheat and therefore we do expect a large shortage of wheat this coming season,” he added.
Haritatos said Zimbabwe has been a perennial importer of wheat.
“However, the last few years we have been importing wheat, and nothing will certainly change because we will not have shortages of bread on our shelves,” he said.
Zimbabwe requires about 30 000 tons of wheat per month.
Haritatos said the government was already in the market looking for wheat to buy, in order to beef up supplies.
“Our ministry has already flighted a tender, for 200 000 metric tons through the Grain Marketing Board and several individuals have shown great interest to the tenders. We believe they will fulfill these tenders,” he said.
“Currently we only use 30 000 tons of wheat per month, so 200 000 metric tons will be sufficient for almost seven months of this year,” he said.
Zimbabwe is currently facing shortage of bread and bakers are attributing it to inadequate supplies of wheat. – New Ziana