Story by John Nhandara
THE Agricultural and Rural Development Authority, (ARDA), has set a target of producing 100 000 metric tonnes of wheat from 20 000 hectares during this winter wheat season.
ARDA has adopted several strategies targeting irrigation schemes, estates and joint venture arrangements with farmers who have irrigable land in its quest to establish at least 20 000 hectares of winter wheat crop this season.
The Authority which has been on a drive to revamp its irrigation schemes across the country has set a target of producing 100 000 metric tonnes of wheat this season which translates to 28 percent contribution of the national wheat requirements.
“For this winter wheat season we are doing 20 000 hacters against the 14 000 which we did last season and this is a 43 percent increase. We are targeting to harvest 100 000 metric tonnes of wheat against the 61 000 tonnes harvested last season. And this harvest is 27 percent contribution to the national annual wheat requirements,” said ARDA CEO, Mr Tinotenda Mhiko.
ARDA has also unlocked an additional 834 irrigable hectarage after commissioning five more irrigation schemes Matebeleland North, Masvingo and Midlands provinces.
“We commissioned additional five irrigation schemes in a whole government approach which unlocked an additional irrigable hectarage of 834 hectares in irrigation schemes across Mat north, Masvingo and Midlands provinces. This is an additional combined tonnage of grain of about 8 340 tonnes.
85 000 hectares of land has been earmarked for wheat production this winter wheat season, with expectations of producing 408 000 metric tonnes of the cereal crop which is well above 375 000 metric tonnes realised last year.