winterwheat1.jpgFailure to cultivate a sufficient winter wheat crop has raised fears of bread and flour shortages amid speculation that the country will have to rely on imports to sustain local consumption.

Against a background of last season’s total of 10 000 hectares of winter wheat planted, only 6 000 hectares have been planted this season.

With the winter wheat planting phase effectively ending in May, farmers’ unions estimate that the country will get about 24 000 tonnes of wheat from this year’s season crop.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union president, Mr. Paul Zakariya said farmers did not really do much and the season caught them unprepared.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union Chief Economist and Head of Commodities, Mr. Peter Gambara said farmers are now irrigating their crop at this stage despite power challenges.

The country requires about 450 000 tonnes of wheat and farmers have never been successful in meeting demand.

At its peak in the 2001/02 season, Zimbabwe produced more than 341 000 tonnes of wheat.