Wheat farmers have received a major boost after government reached a settlement with the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) for the supply of 4 days uninterrupted power supply each week.
The move comes after consultations between the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate And Rural Resettlement and The Ministry of Energy and Power Development to ensure that government achieves the target of at least 60 000 hectares under wheat farming.
Addressing farmers at a field day at Zanadu farm in Concession, Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister Retired Chief Air Marshal Perrance Shiri promised farmers an increased power supply which should be complemented by increased production.
“We understand the challenge to do with power and we have put a special arrangement with the ministry responsible for power supply who have assured us that they are going to make power available for wheat farmers. Fuel has also been set aside to assist farmers under command agriculture,” said Minister Shiri.
Cde Shiri also urged farmers to diversify into forex-generating crops.
“Let’s plant a variety of crops, like peas, oranges and export them so that we generate forex. If we think of the nation lets first play our part by increasing production. Prices will stabilise” he added
Host farmer Retired Colonel Creden Kanouruka who has 30 hectares under wheat and several other crops urged farmers to take up farming as a business if they are to be successful.
“In this age farmers should find what is needed in the market. I do a morning briefing everyday with my subordinates which gives us a picture of where we are going in this business. There is high competition and if you go with a different variety, you will progress,” said Retired Colonel Kanouruka.
Zimbabwean wheat farmers have been specialising in growing the Nduna hybrid seed but calls have been made for them to adopt a new variety called “Select” largely favoured by bakeries.