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Command Agric 60 000 ha, Self-Financed Farmers 15000 ha, Presidential Inputs 10 000 ha for this season.

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There are three major programmes funding wheat production this season.The major one is the Command Agriculture where CBZ is targeting to fund 60 000 hectares of wheat.Private investors, joint ventures and self-financed farmers are expected to put 15 000 hectares under wheat, while the Presidential Inputs Scheme will cater for 10 000 hectares.

Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said cabinet was briefed by Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Anxious Masuka regarding the winter wheat and barley, preparation.Not to be outdone was Deputy Minister  of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Karoro who said although the deadline for planting wheat was May 31, farmers could extend into the second week of June.

Minister Mutsvangwa said “Cabinet wishes to report that three facilities are in place targeting 92 000 hectares distributed as follows: the Presidential Wheat Scheme targeting 10 000 hectares; the Command/CBZ Agro-yield Scheme targeting 60 000 hectares and the Private Sector Support targeting 15 000 hectares for wheat and 7 000 hectares for barley.

“A Statutory Instrument to restrict marketing of wheat and barley crops to contractors and GMB only is being drafted,” she said.

Cabinet was briefed on the improvement of tobacco growers registered for the current season compared to the last season coupled with the fact that sales had been generally been firming.

“Total tobacco export shipments for 2021 have reached 57,4 million kg as at 19 May 2021 compared to 67 million kg shipped during the same period last year.”

Farmers have been advised to continue planting wheat until early June to meet the targeted 85 000 hectares.

This comes as farmers have intensified planting to meet the May 31 planting deadline.

Inputs distribution has also increased.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union director Mr Paul Zakariya yesterday said winter wheat production is in full swing, with private sector contractors having finished contracting farmers for the season.

“Although significant progress has been made on the AgroYields Scheme, complaints have been raised about late delivery of inputs.

“The optimum planting window is fast closing and by the end of May, all planting must have been done in order to ensure good yields,” he said.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Dr Shadreck Makombe said planting was progressing well and urged farmers to plant even during the night.

Dr Makombe said inputs distribution had also improved and everything was in place, adding that it was now up to farmers to intensify planting.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister Douglas Karoro last week said measures had been put in place to expedite the movement of inputs to farmers.

Farmers under the Presidential Inputs Scheme will receive seed, fertilisers and chemicals on credit against delivery of the crop, but will be expected to pay for electricity and labour.

Ross Moyo

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