Government orders wheat farmers to focus on good agronomic practices

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GOVERNMENT has ordered farmers to stop optimal wheat planting and focus on effective good
agronomic practices, disease, irrigation and weed management.
In a statement, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development said the
late planting of wheat negatively affects yields, reduces quality and exposes the crop to risks of
destruction by early rains.
A total of 85 000 hectares have been targeted for winter wheat this year and this is expected to
produce 408 000 tonnes of the cereal, well above the 375 000 tonnes of last year and the minimum
of 360 000 tonnes needed for self-sufficiency.
“Farmers are hereby advised that the optimal wheat planting window closed on the 15th of June
2023 and any further planting after this date is discouraged and must stop.
“Focus should shift and (be) redirected towards effective good agronomic practices, disease and
weed management, irrigation management and scheduling,” said the Lands Ministry encouraging
the farmers to scout their fields regularly and make fire guards to avoid “unnecessary loses due to
veld fires”.
Farmers should approach the Agritex offices for wheat growing backstopping support and agronomic
advice while thanking them for supporting the thrust towards wheat and flour self-sufficiency.
Government is targeting to increase wheat production to meet the national requirement in line with
the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy, the Agriculture Recovery Plan and the
National Development Strategy (NDS 1) and in pursuit of the vision of becoming an empowered and
prosperous upper middle income society by 2030.

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