Story by Gay Matambo
Tongaat Hullet Zimbabwe has managed to produce 1 550 tonnes of wheat this year under the Presidential Winter Wheat programme as Public Private Partnerships in the agriculture sector continue to yield results.
After a successful winter wheat harvest last year, 605 hectares were put under wheat production at one of the partner’s Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe’s Mwenezana Estate this year as part of strides to boost wheat production in the province.
A visit to Mwenezi Grain Marketing Board revealed that 1 550 tonnes of wheat were delivered by Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe under the Presidential Winter Wheat programme.
“The primary lesson we have learnt is that in future we need to do our planting early because half of the crop was planted within the recommended time and out of the 605 hectares, about 200 were planted late and we experienced rains during harvesting. We are satisfied with an average of 2.8 in this part of the region those are very good standards also considering that half of the area was planted late,” Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe Head of Agriculture, Mr Norman Maisiri said.
Mid-April and the last week of May according to experts is the best time to plant wheat as delayed planting results in a loss of close to 50 kilograms per day after May.
Mr Edmore Matiza, Mwenezi District Grain Marketing board manager noted, “It is not advisable to harvest wheat during the rain season. We urge farmers to follow the wheat planting guide to maximise production. The moisture content of the wheat brought here by Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe was at 9%, but the only challenge which was experienced was that part of the wheat was harvested during the rain season which decreases the chances of the wheat to attain a higher grade.”
More than two thousand hectares were put under wheat in Masvingo Province, while more than 85 000 hectares were planted nationally, thereby surpassing the revised national target of 80 000 hectares during the past winter season.