Government achieves 100% Winter Wheat target

Staff Reporter

Government has achieved its set target of planting 75 000 hectares under wheat in order to produce 383 000 Metric tonnes of the crop in this winter wheat season.

This was revealed by the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa during the 18th Post Cabinet Press Briefing, where she emphasized that despite the challenges faced due to the late start of winter, the set target had been achieved.

“Regarding the 2022 Winter Wheat Production, the nation is informed that the target was to plant 75 000 hectares and produce 383 000 MT, which will be sufficient to meet the country’s needs. Despite challenges with the late start of commencement of the winter season due to a delayed summer rainfall season, the area planted to date is 100% of the target,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Minister Mutsvangwa also informed that Government had made available enough fertilizers and chemicals to support winter wheat production, whilst 100 megawatts of electricity have been preserved just for farmers without load shedding. Furthermore, Government through Petro Trade has also availed 750 000 liters of fuel which will be distributed by Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA).

“Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that there are enough fertilizers and chemicals to support winter wheat production. Some 100 megawatts of electricity have been ring-fenced for farmers and are exempt from load shedding, while Petro Trade availed 750 000 liters of fuel to be distributed through the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA). Adequate measures have also been put in place to control quelea birds,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Meanwhile, since the start of the cotton marketing season on the 13th June 2022, five contractors have already been issued with buyers’ licenses, while farmers have also welcomed the new cotton price resulting in a delivery of 22 349 202 kg as of 23 June 2022.

“The cotton marketing season commenced on 13th June 2022, with five contractors having been issued with buyers’ licenses. The seed cotton intake as at 23 June 2022 stood at 22 349 202 kg, with the new cotton price having been generally welcomed by farmers,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

According to Minister Mutsvangwa, since commencement of grain market on the 1st  of April 2022, the grain intake as at 22 June, 2022 stood at 20 626 metric tonnes (MT), valued at ZW$ 1.8 Billion and USD2.12 million, with ZW$748 million and US$2 million having been paid to farmers already.

Meanwhile, regards to tobacco marketing, 152 million kg valued at US$ 456.47 million has been sold to date. There is an increase in the average price from US$2.81/kg in 2021 to US$3.19/kg in 2022. Tobacco merchants have also achieved an increased exports of 75 300 kg of tobacco valued at US$359 934 000, compared to 65 500 000kg valued at US$258 725 000 exports during the same period last year. 2022/23 targeted volume is 275 million kilogrammes from 135 000 hectares with 96% under contract.

Grain Millers have also finalized on import contracts of 400 000 MT from Malawi and Zambia, whilst Social Welfare will require 30 000 MT every month.