The Agricultural Rural Development Authority (ARDA) has stepped up preparations for the 2017 wheat command agriculture with several private partners showing interest to join forces with the authority to produce about 50 000 tonnes of wheat this season.

ARDA has taken heed of government call to mobilise resources to produce 25 percent of the initial 2017 wheat target of 200 000 tonnes under command agriculture.

The authority’s board chairman Basil Nyabadza says several private partners have come on board to mobilise the required resources to achieve the 50 000 tonnes of wheat ARDA has been directed to produce this season.

Rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure at all ARDA farms has been stepped up to ensure a smooth and reliable water supply for the success of the 2017 wheat production, noted the ARDA boss.

Another area which calls for urgent attention from the relevant water authorities is to ensure the national desiltation programme is done on time so as to fully harness and preserve the good rains which are a key factor towards the success of the wheat command agriculture.