Harare- Zimbabwe’s dream of having a wheat surplus is likely to be washed away by rains, as the country has already lost 3 890ha due to heavy rains
Addressing a post-cabinet press brief Acting Minister of Information Dr Jenfan Muswere, who is the Minister of Information Communication Technology (ICT), Postal and Courier Services said after months of bragging that this year farmers will get a bumper harvest, heavy rains have damped the good harvest prospects.
“On a sad note, a total of 3 890ha of wheat were destroyed by rains with the largest hectarage of 3225ha being in Mashonaland West,” said Dr Muswere.
In October this year, the government deployed 111 combine harvesters for winter wheat anticipating to reduce in the loss of grain by 10 per cent
“It is anticipated that losses of grain such as wheat and maize would reduce by more than 10 per cent through timely access of the 111 combine harvesters which have been distributed under different mechanization facilities,” said the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development chief director Agriculture Mechanisation Water and Soil Conservation Engineer Edwin Zimunga
Zimbabwe was expected to harvest 380 000 tonnes of wheat this year, which is more than the national requirement of 360 000 tonnes to meet the domestic demand, so ensuring self-sufficiency with a modest carry-over stock
Dr Muswere however assured the country that the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) assured the country that they have 160 000 metric tonnes in place.
“Current wheat stocks at GMB stand at 160 262 metric tonnes, while the millers have 33 500 mt in stock. The GMB stocks will provide 7.6 months’ cover at a consumption rate of 21 000 metric tonnes per month, while the total country stock will last 9.2 months,”
“The nation is further informed that the 58 972 ha which has so far been harvested have culminated in 255 618 mt of wheat” he added
The wheat harvest in Zimbabwe runs from October to December.