Zimbabwe’s private sector has set a target of 150 000 tonnes of winter wheat output in a bid to be self-sufficient and reduce imports.
This reflects a 67% increase from 90 000 tonnes achieved last year.
National Wheat Contract Farming Committee vice chairperson Graeme Murdoch told Business Times that 25 000 hectares will be put under wheat this winter from 18 000 hectares last year.
“We are targeting to plant 25 000 hectares under winter wheat crop where we expect an average of six tonnes per hectare to give us a yield of 150 000 tonnes,” Murdoch said.
While the private sector is targeting 25 000 hectares, the government is planning to put 85000 hectares under wheat this winter.
Anxious Masuka, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development minister, said his ministry was engaging some farmers who do not usually grow wheat to put considerable hectares under wheat this year.
Experts said working with last year’s average output of five tonnes per hectare the country will attain around 425 000 tonnes of wheat.
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.
A total of 3 980 hectares of the wheat crop was damaged by rains.
This year, the country wants to guard against post-harvest losses.
Over the years, Zimbabwe has relied on imports to meet domestic demand.
Zimbabwe imports the bulk of its wheat from Eastern Europe.