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Matabeleland North farmers still planting wheat

by Staff Reporter
19 Jun 2021 at 08:14hrs | Views
WHEAT farmers in Matabeleland North were by yesterday still planting the winter crop following late delivery of inputs especially seed.

The province is targeting to plant 1 000ha of winter wheat under the CBZ Agroyield scheme, 400ha under the Presidential Scheme and the 300ha will be sponsored by individual farmers.

Matabeleland North has limited land for wheat farming in Binga, Bubi, Lupane and Umguza districts. Efforts are however underway to identify more land to be irrigated by water from Gwayi-Shangani Dam.

Planting is still in progress amid fears the crop might be affected by the rains if the rain season starts early this year. Wheat requires cold temperatures especially during its early stages so that it can develop more suckers and become vegetative.

Government had set 10 June as the planting deadline. Production of the crop is being supported from three fronts this time around with 60 000ha being produced through a Government guaranteed CBZ Agro Yield programme, 15 000 ha by private contractors and 10 000ha through the Presidential Winter Wheat Scheme.

Zimbabwe needs about 360 000 tonnes of wheat annually but the country is projected to produce 340 000 tonnes, which will drastically reduce what imports.

Matabeleland North provincial irrigation officer Engineer Charles Makhula said Phaphamani Irrigation in Nyamandlovu had challenges with electricity as one of the power lines connecting to Makhokhomba has been down for the past four years.

About US$1 000 is required to replace the damaged drum cable. He said Redwood farm has been struggling to access inputs and fuel. "People are still planting especially in Bubi and Lupane," he said.

Speaking in Victoria Falls recently, Eng Makhula said Government is in the process of identifying land for wheat farming that will be irrigated by water from Gwayi-Shangani Dam.

He said land around Fatima, Jotsholo, Tshongogwe has already been identified as quick wins.

Source - Chronicle