Stakeholders in the agriculture sector have been urged to take precautionary measures to avert any wheat loses as part of the crop is under attack from quelea birds and fall armyworm while a potential threat of veld fires loom. 

A significant percentage of the wheat crop is nearing full maturity necessitating the need for farmers to activate systems to contain yield loses.

To counter quelea birds ravaging wheat in parts of the lowveld government is now assisting farmers with spraying said Agriculture Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made.

The Department of Research and Specialist Servicers is also working closely with growers hit by the fall armyworm which first emerged in Zimbabwe early this year during the summer cropping season.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union executive director Mr Jeremiah Tevera highlighted the need for farmers to spray their fields with the recommended pesticides and liaise with their extension officers.

Farmers have also been encouraged to make fireguards around their premises so as to prevent veld fires which normally ravage the countryside during the fire season which runs from the end of July to the end of October.

The import bill for wheat has been hovering around a US$100 million every year but expectations are high that command wheat can yield about 200 000 tonnes this season.

The country requires about 350 to 400 000 tonnes.