Wheat harvesting in full swing as over 3 000 tonnes harvested
Edgar Vhera Agriculture Specialist Writer
THE harvesting of the 2023 winter wheat crop is in full throttle with over 3 000 tonnes currently harvested at an average yield of 6, 58 tonnes per hectare ahead of the start of the rainfall season.
The Agricultural and Rural Development Advisory Service (ARDAS) weekly report dated September 25 show that 3 228, 75 tonnes of the crop had been harvested from 490, 50 hectares.
Mashonaland West is topping the list after having harvested 350 hectares followed by Mashonaland Central on 100ha and Matabeleland North with 40, 50ha.
Matabeleland North has recorded the average yield of 7, 50 tonnes per hectare.
In volume terms, Mashonaland West province account for 70 percent of the harvested wheat to date.
The weekly report revealed that 90 192 hectares had been planted to wheat this season.
Farmer training on wheat harvesting tips is currently underway in all provinces.
This season’s planted area surpassed the set target of 90 000 by 192 hectares and total wheat production is set to eclipse last year’s 375 000 tonnes as over 420 000 tonnes are anticipated.
Recent data collected by country satellite system, ZimSat-1 using the multi-temporal satellite image collection technique on harvesting show that over 415 000 tonnes of wheat will be produced.
Meanwhile AFC Holdings group head-strategy, marketing and corporate communications Ms Caroline Mozhendi recently said they had distributed their combine harvesters to 22 cluster service centres established across the country to speed up the harvesting of the crop before start of the rainfall season.
“AFC is targeting to harvest over 21 500 hectares of wheat jointly funded by ourselves, Presidential Input Scheme (PIS) and Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA).
This is a 300 percent from the 5 400 hectares done on inception. We are ready to support the harvesting of winter wheat and have commenced deployment of combine harvesters through our country wide cluster centres,” she said.
Food Crop Contractors Association (FCCA) chairperson Mr Graeme Murdoch recently said harvesting of the early planted wheat would commence this week.