HomeLocal NewsNation faces gloomy winter wheat season

Nation faces gloomy winter wheat season

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MASVINGO The provinces winter wheat project this year looks gloomy as farmers have told the provincial development committee they are unwilling to grow the crop because of low and late payments from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).

Chairman of the agriculture sub-committee, John Chihombori, told the first provincial development committee meeting last week that although registration of farmers was still underway, most had expressed unwillingness to grow wheat due to low prices.

Although farmers are still registering for the winter wheat project, many had indicated their unwillingness saying the venture is no longer profitable. They instead said they would prefer to export their produce for higher prices. There is, therefore, need to increase the money paid for the crop, said Chihombori.

Chihombori also cited lack of viable irrigation schemes to run the project amid reports that Mushandike Irrigation Scheme, a few kilometres outside Masvingo town, had collapsed due to low levels of water at Mushandike Dam.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union provincial manager Jeremiah Chimwanda said there was need for government to raise wheat prices to lure more farmers.

The gazzetted price of winter wheat per tonne is $466, which is very low considering the costs that the farmers incur.

We expect the money paid to be raised to around $750 per tonne, which we feel is fair, said Chimwanda.

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