The Agricultural Rural Development Authority (ARDA)`s  Jotsholo estate has abandoned 50 hectares of wheat that it had planted at the beginning of May due to continued burst pipes which are increasing production costs.

The estate is now focusing on the remaining 200 hectares where the wheat crop has just germinated.

ARDA Jotsholo had targeted 250 hectares for wheat production this season but the challenges of burst pipes and the costs of attending to them on part of the planted hectarage has forced the estate to abandon the crop to avoid further costs which could lead to losses.

ARDA Jotsholo Estate Manager, Mr Ndondana Ncube said new and more efficient equipment has been ordered for the rehabilitation of all the water pipes so that the cost of production is minimised.

“We realised that we will run a loss that side, so we had to abandon the field so that we give ourselves ample time to work on the pipe system. We have ordered PVC pipes and we want to put a new piping system to be ready for this coming summer,” he said.

Most of the wheat that was planted on the 3rd of this month on the remaining 200 hectares has now germinated and is being closely monitored for the fall armyworm threat.

ARDA Jotsholo has the largest production for the winter crop in the province, followed by Mary Ellen Farm in Bubi which has 128 hectares.