Private sector bails out struggling farmers



The private sector has bailed out struggling  self-financed farmers by providing funding for  winter wheat under 20 000 hectares, Business Times can report.

It came after the contractors  met their 25 000 hectares target.

Graeme Murdoch, chairman of Food Crop Contractors, revealed  the gesture.

“We helped some self-financed farmers on their 20 000 hectares during the winter cereal season.

“Some could not complete the whole process as they were struggling with funding we chipped in to help in ensuring the winter wheat is grown well  to give the desired results.

“We are expecting to  achieve an average yield of 5.5 tonnes per hectare,” Murdoch said.

The country planted 87 000 hectares under the 2023 winter wheat hectarage  from 85 000 hectares  last year in a bid to meet the country’s self-sufficiency.

Zimbabwe is positioning herself to be a net exporter of wheat targeting the region with the government already readying to export this year.

Murdoch said  the farmers were experiencing an uninterrupted power supply that 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.

The country is expecting to surpass 430 000 tonnes of wheat this year.

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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