Presidential Inputs Scheme targets 15 000 hectares for winter wheat season

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By Elvis Dumba

Banket – Government intends to finance small-scale wheat farmers under the presidential inputs scheme with free inputs.

Professor Obert Jiri, Chief Director of Agriculture Extension Department (AREX) under the Ministry of Agriculture said the small farmers who have access to irrigation for three hectares will benefit from the facility as the government moves to achieve wheat self-sustainance.

During an interview on the sidelines of a winter wheat training program for wheat and extension workers at Combe Farm near Banket, Professor Jiri said the world faces wheat shortages following the crisis due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict where most of the world’s wheat needs came from and said this calls for the country to be able to be self-sustaining in wheat supply through various wheat support programs.

“As a government, we have come up with four wheat schemes of which one of the schemes is the presidential inputs scheme where our President is assisting small scale farmers with inputs for three hectares. Under this scheme, we are targeting 15 000 hectares under the winter wheat program,” he said.

Professor Jiri said other initiatives include financial service support programs as well private partnership financing.

“We have the CBZ Agro-yields finance scheme which is targeting 45 000 hectares. The AFC or Land Bank is targeting 10 000 hectares. Other private players are financing about 23 000 hectares as we strive for wheat self-sustained supply,” Professor Jiri said.

Addressing the farmers Professor Jiri said the government is leaving no stone unturned in its quest to ensure the availability of wheat in the country through programs that ensure farmers produce quality wheat and said the government will ensure that farmers agencies such as the Department of Irrigation and Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution work in harmony with farmers for a successful winter wheat season.

Some wheat farmers urged the government to consider paying wheat farmers in forex as the rising inflation affects their earnings.