Mash East surpasses winter wheat target

By Archford Chirimudombo


MARONDERA- For the second year running, farmers in Mashonaland East
managed to surpass the winter wheat target that had been set this season.
This season, the country targeted to grow 85 000 hectares of winter wheat and
expects an output of 408 000 tonnes. Last season, the country harvested 375 000
tonnes of the cereal against the yearly requirement of 360 000 tonnes.
Before the onset of this season, the province targeted to put 14 000 hectares under
the crop and this followed the record-breaking success of last year’s winter wheat
season where 78 063 hectares were put under the crop nationwide.
This was a milestone since Independence as the hectarage was followed by
plantings in 2004 (70 585 ha) and 2005 (67 261 ha) after the country adopted an
import substitution agricultural policy and strategically working self-sufficiency.
For last season, Mashonaland East contributed 12 579 hectares, having initially set a
target of 11 340 hectares while the province also managed to produce 56 825 metric
This season, the target of 14 000 hectares was surpassed by more than 1 500
hectares as the province managed to plant 15 606 hectares.
In an interview, Agricultural and Rural Development Advisory Services (ARDAS)
acting provincial director Leonard Munamati confirmed that the province managed to
meet this season’s set target.
He said: “Our farmers in Mashonaland East managed to meet and went to an extent
of surpassing this year’s winter wheat target. They planted 1 606 hectares that not
only surpassed the target but was also a record for the province. The biggest
contributing districts were Goromonzi and Marondera.
“Adequate support for the farmers was received from the Government, whose
stringent efforts on agricultural transformation are moored on active private and
public sector participation. Inputs and funding was received through a host of
programmes like the Presidential inputs support scheme, the Commercial Bank of

Zimbabwe (CBZ) Agro-Yield and Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) facilities
while the private sector has been making an immense contribution. ARDA managed
to sponsor some farmers while others self-sponsored their farming activities.”
According to Munamati, the crop is currently doing well and a bumper harvest is
“Our regular assessment of the crop show that it is doing well and the same applies
to the crop which was planted late. The bulk of the crop is at the tillering and booting
stages. Farmers who registered under the Presidential Inputs Scheme are currently
receiving their top-dressing fertiliser.
“Electricity supply has been consistent as the clusters that are well known for
producing the crop were ring-fenced. The dams have adequate water and farmers
have not been facing any problems when it comes to irrigating the crop. Everything
is pointing to a bumper harvest again this season,” he said.
The country’s milestone in wheat production resulted in 375 000 tonnes of the cereal
being harvested, having initially targeted to produce 380 000 tonnes of wheat but
part of the crop was affected by early rains and veld fires.

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