Mashonaland West targets to surpass 45 000 hectares of Winter Wheat

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Writes Elvis Dumba
Banket – Mashonaland West Province intends to surpass 45,000 hectares of irrigated wheat as the winter wheat season for 2024 beckons.
This was revealed by Mashonaland West Province Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Hon Marian Chombo during an agricultural stakeholders interactive meeting on agricultural programs held at Banket Sports Club.
“As a province, it’s our wish to surpass the current 38 000 hectares of irrigated wheat crop to over 45 000 hectares which will help us to eradicate climate change-induced weather patterns challenges,” she said.
” As a province, we are the bread basket of the country and the country looks up to us. Last season, we managed to produce 130 000 tonnes, making us the top producer of wheat and I would like to thank the farmers who worked hard,” she said.
The Minister challenged local authorities to ensure that farmers have easy access to transport their produce through the rehabilitation of roads.
The Minister also challenged farmers to utilize dams around the province to irrigate winter maize and increase wheat hectarage.
“As a province, we have more dams than any province other province but we are only utilizing less than 30%. We need to ensure that we use this water for agriculture to ensure food security,” she said.
Last season, the province produced 130 00 tonnes of wheat from the previous 27,000, making the province a wheat top producer.
Mashonaland West Province agricultural advisory task force that was put in place by the Minister to advise her office on agricultural activities in the province has advocated for the government to declare the 2023-24 agriculture season a national disaster.
Happison Muchechetere, who is the agriculture advisory task force chairman said the El-Nino-induced drought has affected many farmers’ viability.
“As we went around the province, we noticed that most crops were affected by the drought and as farmers, we are requesting the government to declare the season a national disaster as this drought will affect farmers for at least the next three seasons,” he said.