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Government clears 90 percent of payment arrears to wheat farmers


Harare, (New Ziana) – The government has almost cleared its entire debt to wheat farmers for last year’s deliveries of the crop, as it steps up provision of input and other support to growers for the current cropping season.

A wheat hectarage of 120 000 is targeted in the current growing season, which is expected to again meet the country’s entire needs. Zimbabwe became wheat self-sufficient for the first time last year.

In an update on the production of the crop, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister, Dr Anxious Masuka said government had cleared 90 percent of its payment arrears to wheat farmers so far.

As regards preparations for this year’s wheat cropping season, he said enough water, despite the drought, had been secured to irrigate the targeted hectarage.

Masuka said in addition to the government, the private sector and banks were chipping in to support wheat farmers, a factor which had resulted in an increase in hectarage planned to be put under the crop.

“Irrigation is the most effective way to climate proof. This allows for negation of the effects (of) drought impacts,” he said. “Wheat can be used as livestock feed, providing an alternative source of nutrition for animals during drought periods when grazing is scarce,” he said.

Under the targeted hectarage this year, Mashonaland West is expected to have the largest at 34 000, followed by Mashonaland Central at 28 000. Mashonaland East is targeting 21 000ha, Midlands 12 000ha, Mat South 5 500ha, Masvingo 4 000ha and Mat North 2 500ha.

New Ziana

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