By Trevor Makonyonga
Over 47 000 hectares of wheat have been planted this year, doubling the figure from last year, government has said.
This was revealed by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Anxious Masuka in a report tabled by Information minister, Monica Mutsvangwa at a post cabinet briefing held Tuesday.
“Government advises that as at 5 June 2021, a total of 47 519 hectares had been planted to wheat, more than double the area planted at the same time last year. The planting deadline has been extended to 15 June 2021 from 10 June and the seeding rate increased from 125 to 150kg/hectare. It is estimated that with this extension, 70 000 to 75 000 hectares of wheat will be planted, translating to an estimated total production of 315 000 to 337 500 metric tones.”
Zimbabwe had initially targeted 92 000 hectares with the private sector expected to come through.
“A total of 92 000 hectares, comprising 85 000 hectares for wheat and 7 000 hectares for barley, was targeted for planting this winter season under the following programmes: Presidential Wheat Scheme (10 000 hectares’ wheat), Command/CBZ Agro-Yield (10 000 hectares’ wheat), the Private Sector (15 000 hectares’ wheat) and Delta (7 000 hectares’ barley). It is advised that 9 796 hectares have been identified under the Presidential Wheat Scheme as at 3 June 2021, while a total of 65 623 hectares (1 361 farmers) has been contracted under the Command/CBZ Agro-Yield Programme.”
Government also reported that deliveries to the Grain Marketing Board are generally firm, with 88 307 metric tonnes of maize, 7 534 metric tonnes of soyabeans, 7 523 metric tonnes of traditional grains, 215 metric tonnes of premium grade wheat and 367 metric tonnes of ordinary grade wheat having been received as at 5 June 2021.
Total grain received as at 6 June 2021 was said to have been 130 000 metric tonnes.
In the tobacco sales update daily volumes are reported to be very high, with a total of 135 477 886 kilograms valued at US$366 535 787 having been traded as at 3 June, 2021. At the same time last year, 104 629 191 kilograms worth US$245 555 772 had been sold. About 43% of tobacco sales were through the decentralised selling points, while 93% of the tobacco has been sold under contract.
Government also gave an update on the cotton selling season.
“Meanwhile, the 2021 Cotton Marketing Season commenced on 18 May 2021 with a producer price of ZW$85/kg for seed cotton delivered to Cottco. A price subsidy will be availed to Cottco only, for the Presidential Input Scheme, with part of the payment being in foreign currency at a rate of USD10 per bale. Deliveries across the provinces as at 3 June 2021 are as follows: Mashonaland Central, 560.2 metric tonnes; Mashonaland East, 360 metric tonnes; Manicaland, 764 metric tonnes; Masvingo, 5 808.6 metric tonnes; Mashonaland West, 6 256.4 metric tonnes; and Midlands, 2 912.2 metric tonnes.”