GOVERNMENT has reminded wheat farmers in Mashonaland East province to repay loans extended to them by financial institutions to ensure the scheme benefit other productive sectors of the economy.
The farmers had claimed that they were failing to settle the loans due to high exchange rates and astronomical interest charges.
“When it comes to the issue of loans between farmers and banks it must always be a win-win situation. Farmers are given the loans to help them in their agricultural operations and when they harvest, they get paid, hence must make it a priority that they pay back the loans,” Agriculture permanent secretary John Basera told farmers at a meeting in Marondera recently.
Basera said wheat farmers were compelled to pay the Zimbabwe National Water Authority and Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority for use of water and power, respectively.
“We want to ensure the continued sufficiency of wheat and flour production in the country and being aware of the current power shortages, we will ensure power supply in areas that have more wheat farmers,” Basera added.
Zimbabwe is targeting to put close to 100 000 hectares under winter wheat this year.
In 2022, the country got 375 000 tonnes of the cereal, surpassing the targeted 360 000 tonnes.
Mashonaland East province is targeting to put 14 000ha under wheat.
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In 2022, the province managed to produce 56 825 metric tonnes of wheat.