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Govt expects bumper harvest

by Staff reporter
04 Mar 2021 at 06:24hrs | Views
INFORMATION and Publicity minister Monica Mutsvangwa says the country this year expects a bumper harvest, adding that government was putting in place measures to ensure that there would be enough grain storage facilities ahead of the harvesting season.

Addressing a post-Cabinet media briefing on Tuesday, Mutsvangwa said the country expected to harvest two million metric tonnes of cereals.

"Although the ministry is awaiting the results of the first round of the crop and livestock assessment later in March, 2021, for planning purposes, an estimated national production of 2,5 million to 2,8 million metric tonnes of maize, and 360 000 metric tonnes of traditional grains has been based on the promising bumper harvest in 2021," Mutsvangwa said.

"On the basis of the afore-stated estimates, deliveries to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) are expected to be 2 million metric tonnes of cereals (that is 1,8 million
metric tonnes of maize) and 200 000 metric tonnes of traditional grains.

"In that regard the directorate of Agricultural Engineering, Mechanisation and Soil Conservation has been re-established with a dedicated department of post-harvest technology and storage to safeguard harvests."

She said government would supply combine harvesters for efficient and timeous harvesting of grain, with an additional 72 and 21 combine harvesters mobilised from the John Deere facility and the Belarus programme, coming soon.

"The (Lands and Agriculture) ministry is importing an additional 13 mobile grain dryers from Italy to the tune of US$1,3 million each, with a capacity of 28 metric tonnes per shift and up to 140 metric tonnes per day," she said.

Mutsvangwa also said the Grain Marketing Board would make use of 665 cotton collection and buying points for grain collection.

Source - newsday
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