Arda Transau expects bumper wheat harvest

Obert Chifamba Eastern Edition Bureau Chief
EIGHTY-SIX families resettled at ARDA Transau from Chiadzwa in 2010 are expecting a bumper wheat harvest from 40 hectares of land which they planted under Government’s Command Wheat programme.

Chairperson of the scheme, Mr Langton Maramba, said they were expecting an average of seven tonnes per hectare, of which five tonnes would be remitted to Government as part of the payment agreement under the Command Wheat programme.

“If we repay the expected five tonnes from every hectare, we will remain with something in excess of two tonnes per hectare,” he said.

“This will be our profit. That means we would have performed phenomenally well considering that we are all growing wheat for the first time.

“When we were in Chiadzwa, we grew crops like sorghum and millet, but here our staple crop has become maize. We will be producing wheat as a cash crop every year.

“We will also grow other crops like soya bean to augment our earnings.”

Mr Maramba indicated that after missing out on the Command Agriculture programme for maize, they decided to join the wheat project.

They went on to mobilise all interested families who were requested to pay $100 each as joining fee.

“This money was used for land preparations and other miscellaneous expenses,” said Mr Maramba.

“We got two tractors from Government that we used for tillage. As a group, we managed to prepare and plant 11 hectares before Government sponsored another 29 hectares to bring the tally to 40 hectares.”

Secretary of the scheme, Mr Mosheni Chisenwa, said they also received three centre pivots from Government, two of which had the capacity to irrigate 40 hectares each.

The third one can do 30 hectares, which adds up to an irrigation capacity of 110 hectares.

Mr Chisenwa said they were targeting to expand the hectarage under irrigation to 110 hectares soon after harvesting their crop.

Their biggest undoing at the moment is the aging pumps and the unavailability of a fence to protect the crop from stray animals and even malicious individuals.

He said they did not have a combine harvester for harvesting their crop.

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