Winter wheat planting starts Zimbabwe National Farmers Union (ZNFU) president Mrs Monica Chinamasa said farmers are geared to do winter wheat farming adding that a good harvest was predicted if farmers acquired enough resources to start the production.

Precious Manomano-Herald Reporter

Farmers have started planting this year’s winter wheat although the majority are still working on land preparations and finalising maize harvesting.

Planting is taking place in parts of Mashonaland East and farmers who planted are optimistic of a good harvest. 

This means farmers have started planting a month earlier than the anticipated date of the end of April.

Marondera farmers said results from the previous year have indicated that early planting will improve yield.

Mr Bright Bvukumbwe said he experimented last season and planted the crop in March and the results came out positive.

‘’I planted two weeks ago and the crop is germinating well. Last season l planted my crop on 28 March and l got amazing results so l decided to plant earlier again. 

“There are many advantages including less risk of veld fires to my crop because l harvest it in August.

‘’Usually, people who sell their grain early to Grain Marketing Board (GMB)get their payments timeously as compared to the majority who deliver the crop late. The other thing is that planting during this time is that there is less evaporation of water because temperatures are still low,’’ he said.

However, land clearing and tilling are currently underway in most areas in preparation for winter wheat planting. Farmer Mr Tafadzwa Marufu said he will start planting this week after completing the land preparations. “I will also start planting early this season. Our temperatures are conducive to start planting but we maximise irrigation to ensure that we produce good results. 

Last season l planted early and produced satisfactory results as compared to the previous years. I saw it necessary to continue planting early,” he said.

Agricultural experts are urging farmers to focus on improving preparations so that they take advantage of the moisture that is available across all provinces. 

The winter wheat planting season stretches from the end of April to the last week of May and can be extended to mid-June. More than 300 combine harvesters and 500 tractors will be available this season and will be accessible to farmers in the country.

Zimbabwe National Farmers Union (ZNFU) president Mrs Monica Chinamasa said farmers are geared to do winter wheat farming adding that a good harvest was predicted if farmers acquired enough resources to start the production.

She said it was good if the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) facilitated payments of the previous wheat crop so that they facilitate the wheat production.

“If wheat payments are done timeously we can fully engage in wheat production. Preparations are ongoing and I’m sure we can do it again if farmers are fully equipped,” she said.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka said all was in place to ensure a successful winter wheat season. 

The Government had been targeting increases in wheat production to meet the national requirement in line with the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy, the Agriculture Recovery Plan and the National Development Strategy 1 and in pursuit of the vision of becoming an empowered and prosperous upper middle-income society by 2030.

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