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Zimbabwe sets new record of planted winter wheat hectares

by Staff reporter
13 Jul 2022 at 07:19hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE has this year set a new record of planted winter wheat hectares and farmers have been exempt from electricity load shedding, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.

Addressing journalists during a post- Cabinet briefing yesterday, Minister Mutsvangwa said the hectares put under wheat this year has exceeded the previous record set in 2004.

Minister Mutsvangwa said wheat stocks stand at 54 268 tonnes, which are sufficient to meet local requirements.

She also said importation of mealie-meal will continue to cushion consumers from market distortions. The Minister said Government calls upon farmers to desist from side-marketing their grain. She said so far 392 tonnes have been confiscated by the GMB for side marketing in terms of Statutory Instrument 145 of 2019.

"Regarding wheat production, Cabinet confirms that the 78 038 hectares planted this year is a new record for the country, surpassing the previous record of 70 585 hectares set in 2004. The fertilisers, chemicals and fuel in stock are sufficient to meet production requirements. Furthermore, 100 megawatts of electricity have been ring-fenced for farmers and farmers are exempt from load shedding," she said.

"For quelea bird control, the Department of Migratory Bird Control has adequate stocks of the required chemical, and the Zimbabwe National Geo-Spatial Space Science Agency (ZINGSA) will carry out control operations using drone technology. A Command and Control Centre has been established to ensure better mapping, tracking and control of quelea birds this season.

"On tobacco, the Minister said 165 million kilogrammes of the crop valued at US$501 million has been sold to date compared to the 181 kilogrammes worth US$500 million sold during the same period last year.

The average price for auction and contract floors is US$3,02 per kilogramme compared to US$2,76 per kg last year.

"Contract floors outside Harare account for 35% of the total tobacco sold. Auction sales will close on 20 July 2022, following which mop-up sales will be conducted while contract sales will continue until all the tobacco has been sold," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

"So far, tobacco merchants have exported 78 449 301 kilogrammes of tobacco valued at US$379 228 509, up from the 67 759 734 kilogrammes worth US$267 213 732 exports during the similar period last year. The average export price for the golden leaf is US$4,85 per kg compared to US$3.94 per kg last year. "

On the marketing of cotton, she said 366 permanent and 377 mobile buying points have been established across the country's cotton growing areas. To date, 15 512 710 kilogrammes of seed cotton have been purchased at the common buying points across the country valued at US$4 658 813 and ZW$504 988 630.

Source - The Chronicle