Tuesday 7 April 2020


GOVERNMENT yesterday launched an ambitious $2,7 billion agriculture “special” scheme towards the production of wheat at a time the country is struggling to fund its response to the deadly COVID-19, which has crippled the economies of the world’s most powerful countries.

Zimbabwe introduced the Command Agriculture scheme in 2016, which also extended to wheat production, but allegations of corruption and looting by top ruling party politicians rocked the project as it failed to transform the country’s agricultural fortunes.

But yesterday, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga said the government was worried about the continued fall in wheat production in the country due to inadequate irrigation water and electricity as well as high input costs.

Chiwenga said the “special programme” would be funded by commercial bank, CBZ Bank, as they seek to produce 400 000 metric tonnes of wheat grain this year.

“The country requires approximately 400 000 metric tonnes of wheat grain annually and it is currently achieving four metric tonnes per hectare which compares well to the other wheat producing countries,” he said.

“The major challenge in wheat production is due to a number of challenges and among these are inadequate water for irrigation and electricity supply, high input costs and late disbursement of funds which results in late distribution of inputs to farmers under the special programme on wheat, maize and soya beans.” Newsday


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