THE Agricultural Marketing Authority (Ama) has invited wheat farmers to join its database so that they can be placed in production clusters and ring-fenced against electricity outages.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo last week, Ama agribusiness director Jonathan Mukuruba said they wanted to ensure uninterrupted power supply for winter wheat farming.

“We are inviting winter wheat farmers, whether contracted or self-financed, to approach our offices nationwide so that they benefit from the electricity ring-fencing programme,” he said.

Ama is mandated with the overall regulation of production, processing and marketing of agricultural products in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union secretary-general, Paul Zachariya, said uninterrupted power supply was a key enabler to wheat production.

Speaking to the media recently, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development minister Anxious Masuka said the focus for winter wheat this year was to maximise production.

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A bumper harvest of the cereal in the 2022 farming season saw the government putting a stop to flour and wheat imports.

Government has set a target to cultivate 120 000 hectares of wheat and 7 000 hectares of barley for the upcoming winter cropping season.

Reports indicate that at least 1 300 hectares have so far been put under wheat.

NewsDay established that farmers are worried that electricity outages will affect this year’s winter wheat production resulting in shortages of some basic commodities and related agricultural products in the near future.

Zimbabwe has been experiencing power outages because of depressed generation owing to among others low water levels at Kariba Dam.