Govt sees record wheat harvest exceeding national demand

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By Xinhua

Zimbabwe expects to harvest 380,000 tonnes of wheat in the ongoing harvest season, the first time ever the country’s production of the cereal would exceed demand.

John Basera, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, announced the projected figure at an agricultural event in Mazowe, Central Province.

Zimbabwe wheat requirement currently stands at about 360,000 tonnes.

The record harvest this year is five times more than the produce that was realized in 2021.

“This year we are expecting 380,000 tonnes from 79,000 hectares of winter wheat, so this implies that there is a surplus this year. This is an amazing harvest. There was great improvement in load shedding and uninterrupted water supply,” The Herald, a state-owned daily newspaper, quotes Basera.

“In 2020 we managed to do 45,000 hectares, a rise from where we were in the past. In 2021, we did 66,000 hectares.”

The Zimbabwe government has been seeking ways of plugging the holes left by a disruption in food imports, partly caused by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Like other countries in Africa, Zimbabwe targets increased local production to ensure food sufficiency.

Basera urged private farmers to continue supporting government efforts to achieve its agricultural targets.

He pointed out that participation by the private sector in contract growing and mainstreaming was crucial in economic development and transformation of the industry.