|Minister Marapira in the wheat field at his Lamont farm in Masvingo West|
Minister of State in the Office of the President and Cabinet Davis Marapira is confident of a bumper wheat harvest this year at his Lamonte Farm located in Masvingo West constituency as the project is progressing in the right direction, TellZim News can report.
Marapira said he is expecting a produce of slightly above 1300 tonnes of wheat from the 150 hectares he planted.
“I’m very confident that the 150 hectares that I have put under wheat production will produce 1350 tons of wheat. The project is in the right direction so far and I’m expecting to secure enough wheat output in the province and at nation level,” said Marapira.
Despite the fact that the project is in the right track, he said water shortages was a major problem at the farm but he has somehow managed to contain the situation.
“I don’t have enough water to irrigate 250 hectares but I managed to drill 20 boreholes. I’m also constructing weir dams so that there is enough supply of water to irrigate the wheat. I’m in the process of repairing Mucheke and Victoria Range weir dams,” said Marapira.
Marapira who is in charge of Monitoring the Implementation of Special Agricultural and related programmes that include Command Agriculture and irrigation development, is assisting other wheat farmers in the province to ensure they boost and secure enough wheat output this year.
“In Masvingo North constituency, I train my coordinators so that we can produce good results. I have been helping Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Ezra Chadzamira at his wheat farm with all the necessary technical needs.
“I also have a government programme where I will be monitoring and evaluating the implementation of wheat production in farms. We do practical lessons on the field and read a speech later,” said Marapira.
He further said his ever-demanding position in government was reducing his focus on the farm as he is expected to be readily available at his government office.
“It is not simple for me to be always available at the farm as I have various positions in government. I have managed to make sure that the project is in the right track by training my workers to do what I feel is good for the progress of the wheat project,” Marapira said.
Apart from farming wheat, Marapira is doing various agricultural projects which include grass farming, hybrid cattle, sheep and goat rearing and maize production at the same farm.
Marapira has set aside 250 hectares for his over 400 cattle and close to 1000 goats and sheep.
He is also doing grass production to feed his livestock at the farm.
“We are doing aris and mumbai grass production which we imported from Brazil. In winter we produce oats grass so that we keep our animal nutrition in a reasonable state and help in production,” said Marapira.
The farm is also a major source of maize which is grown under modern irrigation.
Lamonte Farm is arguably the most productive farm in Masvingo district and this year there is 250 hectares under irrigation.