The command wheat programme is gathering momentum with thousands of farmers registering to participate.

Government departments are working closely with farmers, while Agritex officers are ready to train growers registered for the programme that is targeting 50 000 hectares.

The government has already secured inputs for the programme and they are ready for collection in most provinces.

A2 farmers, who participated in the command maize programme told the ZBC News that they are eager for the forthcoming wheat planting growing season.

“We have already registered and we have done the necessary land preparation,” Mr Benson Samudzimu said.

“We are just waiting to harvest maize towards the end of this month, then we plant winter wheat,” Mr Noah Mangondo said.

Goromonzi District Administrator, Prisca Dube said a cross section of farmers has begun harvesting maize, with those earmarked for the wheat production programme set to receive training.

“60 percent of farmers in this district have already started harvesting maize and the District Agriculture Extension Officer is working on the logistics ┬áto ensure the grain is safely taken to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB). On winter wheat, training of farmers is on the cards,” she said.

SEEDCO Head of Agronomy Services, Mr John Bhasera urged farmers to prepare for harvesting of maize since wheat should be planted from the 23 of April to the end of May in order to get high yield and good quality wheat.

“We recommend that farmers should make aeration corridors because the ground is moist. For example on a 50 hectare plot you can make aeration corridors of 15 to 20 lines to allow ground to dry and the maize to dry, but this is only recommended for that crop which has reached full maturity,” he said.

Wheat production has been averaging 30 000 metric tonnes per year against an annual requirement of 350 000 metric tonnes.

The command wheat programme will however revive production which reached its peak in 1990 and 2001 after reaching 325 000 metric tonnes.