Lands Agriculture Fisheries Water and Rural Development Ministry has revealed that it has set a 2 000 hectare (ha) winter wheat target for Masvingo province.
Masvingo Province Agritex Acting Director Nobert Masiiwa said the province is targeting an increase in its yield under the theme ‘wheat self-sufficiency, going for growth’.
“As a country, our vision is to get sufficient wheat for sustenance. As we achieved last year, this year again we expect to produce sufficient wheat with the aim to reach new heights hence the need to increase the area under wheat production and the yield per hectare with Masvingo province targeting 2 000 ha,” said Masiiwa.
The province has irrigation schemes in most of its districts including Chiredzi, Chivi, Gutu, Zaka and Bikita with Masvingo having the highest hectrade.
“We have had inputs from the Presidential Input Scheme with inputs including seeds, fertilizers. We have also channeled inputs from the last farming season towards winter wheat with more inputs coming,” added Masiiwa.
The programme has various stakeholders supporting it, including Agriculture Finance Corporation (AFC) for independent farmers, CBZ Agro Yield and Agricultural Rural Development Agency (ARDA) and the presidential inputs programme for smallholder farmers.
Winter wheat farmers have been assured of electricity supply from the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), according to Masiiwa.
“Farmers are assured of electricity availability with ZETDC promising to provide enough electricity for irrigation schemes,” said Masiiwa.
The province is also targeting an increase of 5 tonnes per hectare from this year’s produce.
“This year we are targeting a yield of 5 tonnes from last year’s recorded yield of 3.8 tonnes and we are expecting to surpass the 2 000 ha which we are targeting to plant.
“On annual shutdown, farmers in irrigation schemes can liaise with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) to allow for farmers to be able to access water during the planting season as well as allow ZINWA to carry out its operations for the annual shutdown,” said Masiiwa.
The planting season is expected to end on the May 31 after it started on May 1.