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– The Herald

THE Midlands province has set a target of planting 11 000ha under winter wheat and barley this year, which will be divided into two schemes.

This year’s winter cropping will be rolled out under the agro-yield Government programme on irrigation schemes and the Presidential winter wheat scheme.

Midlands Agritex provincial crop and livestock officer, Mrs Medlinah Magwenzi, said they were taking advantage of the abundant water resource in dams across the province to open up more land on winter wheat and barley.

“As a province we are targeting 11 000ha this season, up from 4 500ha. We are eyeing the abundant ground water available this year due to the good rains received,” she said in an interview. “We also have barley included under the programme, which is being extended to irrigation schemes, gardens and wetlands across the province.”

Mrs Magwenzi said the target was ambitious and feasible as the Government has provided adequate support with water sources also having adequate storage. She also said many farmers were interested in winter wheat production this season.

“We are hopeful that farmers will be able to harvest their maize on time and put down the winter crop,”

said Mrs Magwenzi.

She said farmers in Kwekwe District have already planted 208ha while other districts are still to submit their statistics of ground covered.

Mrs Magwenzi said farmers in the province were busy harvesting maize, soya beans, groundnuts, sorghum, pearl millet, rice, sugar beans and all other crops.

“Farmers are excited by the producer prices and are keen to tap on that,”

she said, adding that some farmers started delivering grain to GMB.

“The yields are promising to be good though we are still tracking the harvests and yields per ha,”

she said.

“It was going to be handy if the province had adequate combine harvesters and driers. “We are lobbying for these so as to fulfil the summer and winter cropping season effectively.”

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