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Wet Spell Threatens Wheat Harvests - Zimbabwe Today
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Wet Spell Threatens Wheat Harvests


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Not all farmers are ecstatic about the early rains, with wheat farmers in Mashonaland West apprehensive that the early falls since last week will affect their crop.

Most farmers have not yet started harvesting their winter wheat crop due to challenges in securing combine harvesters, although more have become available through Government facilities with John Deere and Belarus.

Provincial Agritex agronomist Ms Siyena Makaza said although there had been no reports of loses so far, there was a possibility that there will be if the rains persisted.

By Wednesday last week, at least 1 830 hectares of wheat from the province had been harvested from 14 810 hectares, representing 12 percent of the total hectarage planted this year.

Of the total hectarage, 85 percent, amounting to 12 642 hectares, was contracted under the CBZ Agro-Yield programme, while majority of the remaining 12 percent harvested so far was privately funded.

“The first showers we received early last week didn’t affect the crop, but we are worried about the first rains that followed on Tuesday and Wednesday,” said Ms Makaza.

“Although no reports have been made to our offices, we envisage a reduction of yields if farmers fail to conduct due diligence.

“We encourage them to wait for the right conditions before they could start harvesting their crop so as to avoid yield loss.”

Contracted farmers who spoke to The Herald cited the unavailability of diesel as one of the challenges affecting wheat harvesting.

“Some farmers have resorted to accessing diesel sold in foreign currency to avoid yield loss, but this comes with financial challenges and burdens to the farmers,” said Mr Berean Mkwende, Zimbabwe Farmers Union’s former first vice president and a wheat farmer in Mhangura.

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