Govt reviews winter wheat target hectarage



The government has reviewed the 2023 winter wheat hectarage by 5% to 90 000 hectares from 85 000 hectares in a bid to meet the country’s self-sufficiency.

The Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Ministry permanent secretary John Basera said Zimbabwe is positioning herself to be a net exporter of wheat targeting the region.

“The Ministry wishes to advise farmers of the 2023 winter wheat production revised target of 90,000 hectares. To date, farmers have planted 47,562 hectares of winter wheat and this is greatly appreciated.

“To meet this, our farmers need to accelerate the planting pace, increase the planting hectarage, and put all irrigable land under wheat production,” Basera said.

The projected increase in the area under wheat comes as the private sector is on course to meet its 25000-hectare target under winter wheat after most of its members have planted over 92% of the hectarage with few farmers winding up this week.

Food Crop Contractors chairperson Graeme Murdoch told Business Times that the winter wheat season is going according to plans and this will help to achieve self-sufficiency.

“So far our members have planted over 23 000 hectares under winter wheat with close to 2000ha expected to be planted by the weekend.

“The official commercial winter planting is expected to conclude by the end of the week and our members will be on time to meet the 25000 hectares,” Murdoch said.

He said an uninterrupted power supply would boost wheat output.

“The power utility agreed to ring-fence 120 megawatts but with the current power outages we wanted to ensure we get that amount or even more,” Murdoch said.

Zimbabwe will save close to US$300m in wheat imports if it reaches above 400 000 metric tonnes.

Last year, Zimbabwe attained 380 000 metric tonnes, more than double the 180 000 tonnes of wheat harvested in 2021.

Zimbabwe’s stocks were expected to last for over 10 months at a consumption rate of 21 000 metric tonnes per month.

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