Wheat yields are outstanding!

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Keith T Mambo
Keith T Mambohttps://www.zimetro.co.zw/
Keith T. Mambo is currently a reporter for ZiMetro News . He focuses on identity politics for The Southern Eye. He was previously a fellow at the UCT University of Cape Town for Political Science.

Wheat yields are outstanding!

Farmers have so far delivered 11 000 tonnes of wheat to GMB, as harvesting of the early planted crop progresses.

Commercial farmers are in the process of harvesting wheat and GMB has started receiving wheat from Chegutu and Concession farmers who planted the crop early.

Other farmers will join harvesting next month.

Speaking during a wheat pre-harvesting conference in Harare, GMB operations director Mr Forward Takaindisa confirmed receiving wheat and assured farmers that the depots had enough space.

He said all the handling equipment were in place and maintenance work on storage facilities were completed.

GMB cylindrical silos have a capacity of 700 000 tonnes for all grains, while the hard stands cater for 3,3 million tonnes.

Fleets of trucks had been contracted and farmers needing transport simply had to apply at their nearest depot. Wheat is graded according to quality: premium, standard, utility, 1 and 2 and under grade.

Zimbabwe is expecting a bumper harvest of 380 000 tonnes this year, the first time since commercial wheat production started in 1966 that the country has reached self-sufficiency.

Chief economist of Commercial Farmers Union Ms Antonette Chingwe said this year they are expecting an increase in wheat production adding that there is improvement in equipment for harvesting.

“We are expecting an improvement in yield and we are hoping that we can do it in the next season so that we meet our annual demand. Combine harvesters have improved significantly. Costs of inputs were relatively high,” she said.

Wheat, since it is grown entirely under irrigation in the winter, is not affected by rainfall patterns so long as the rainfall is adequate to fill up the dams which supply the irrigation.

Last season, farmers produced enough wheat to cover around nine months’ supply of domestic demand, a major improvement, with GMB receiving 156 144 tonnes from the farmers it had under contract.

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