|Winter wheat produced at minister Marapira's farm last year|
…minister Marapira takes lead in Masvingo
With wheat being one of the most imported commodities in the country drawing the much needed foreign currency from treasury, the government has moved to cut the expenditure by targeting 80 000 hectares of land across the country to be put under winter wheat production.
The 80 000 hectares have the capacity to produce in excess of 415 000 metric tonnes of wheat with the country needing about 400 000 metric tonnes per year.
Launching the winter wheat programme at Masvingo North legislator and minister of State in Vice President Kembo Mohadi’s office Davison Marapira’s Mighty Lamotte Farm, the deputy minister of Lands Douglas Karoro said that the country has the capacity to produce enough wheat and stop imports.
“We are encouraging wheat production in the country. The government is targeting 80 000 hectares across the country to be put under wheat this winter.
“The 80 000 hectares can produce about 415 000 metric tonnes of wheat which will be more than enough to sustain the whole country which needs about 400 000 metric tonnes a year.
“If we are successful it means we will not import wheat again and the money can be used on other developmental initiatives,” said Karoro.
He said that farmers must make sure that they put their and to good use and emphasised that the government will not hesitate to repossess idle land.
Marapira said that he is only limiting himself to 60 hectares of winter wheat due to water challenges but has the potential to do more.
“Wheat is one of the things this country is importing and as farmers we are encouraged to step up and make sure that we provide enough wheat for the country.
“Because of water challenges we are only going to do 60 hectares of winter wheat on this farm but we have the potential to do more. Farmers must make sure that they put their land to good use and if they do not have the capacity they must excuse themselves for producers.
“We must not import wheat when we have huge tracts of land which we can put to good use,” said Marapira.
Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Ezra Chadzamira said that Masvingo has the potential to feed the whole country if farmers step up and fully utilise their land.