Sharon Chiware, Midlands Reporter
THE Agricultural Rural Development Authority (Arda) says it will put about 4 400 hectares under wheat as preparations for winter cropping gather pace.
Seven Arda estates in four provinces have been earmarked for the winter wheat crop.
Arda chairman Mr Basil Nyabadza said they were in the process of shoring up funding for the winter wheat project.
“We are moving to ensure that we play our part in as far as self food sustenance is concerned and this year we are putting 4 380 hectares under a winter wheat crop,” he said.
“We would have loved to put more land under wheat but the challenge that we are experiencing at the moment is that of water bodies which cannot sustain a bigger hectarage. Most of the dams are heavily silted, which makes it difficult to expand operations,” added Mr Nyabadza.
Some of the estates, which will be put under wheat, are Sedgwick Estate in Matabeleland North where 500 hectares has been prepared while in Matabeleland South, Ingwizi and Antelope Estates are projected to each have 750 hectares.
Fair Acres in the Midlands Province is projected to have 500 hectares under wheat while Mbuya Nehanda is expected to have 500 hectares. Sanyati and Arda Sisi are expected to have 280 hectares and 600 hectares respectively under wheat.
The country has been on a drive to boost wheat production which has over the years been hampered by various challenges among them input shortages, power outages and high costs of production.
The country requires 400 000 tonnes of wheat per year and last year wheat output stood at 40 000 tonnes, which saw the shortfall being offset by imports.
The developments by Arda come as Zimbabwe has successfully implemented Command Agriculture this year where the country is expected to be self sufficient in terms of grain production.