Zimbabwe wheat crop volumes hit record

Wheat producers in Zimbabwe had delivered a record volume of wheat of almost 327 000t to that country’s Grain Marketing Board by 25 November.

Zimbabwe wheat crop volumes hit record
The authorities in Zimbabwe have announced that the country’s wheat producers are expecting to deliver a bumper crop this season.
Photo: FW Archive
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The total volume of wheat expected for the season was 380 000t, which was five times more than that produced in 2021.

According to a report on Zimbabwesituation.com, the 2022 harvest was the highest since commercial wheat production began in that country 1960s. The previous record-high wheat harvest of 325 000t was achieved in 1990.

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The outstanding deliveries were being held back by farmers due to the wheat’s high moisture content.

According the report, Zimbabwe had planted a record 80 885ha to the crop this season in an attempt to ensure self-sufficiency for the country.

Wandile Sihlobo, chief economist at Agbiz, previously told Farmer’s Weekly that the bumper crop was integral to reducing Zimbabwe’s reliance on wheat imports, and would also result in “savings on foreign currency”.

Wheat, in the form of bread and white maize, represented the most important staple food in Zimbabwe.

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“Our calculations show that the local demand for wheat in Zimbabwe stands at about [500 000t]. Such an excellent crop is good news all around, especially in light of the current price volatility on the global wheat market following the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine,” Sihlobo said.

The secretary of the Zimbabwean ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr John Basera, said in a statement that although there had been some minor losses during the production season due to wildfires and early rainfall, the country’s 2022 wheat production target had not been affected.

The country’s government recently announced that about 3 980ha of wheat had been damaged by heavy rainfall, with the most extensive damage reported in the Mashonaland West province.

Basera said in an earlier statement that the bumper crop could be ascribed to a decrease in the incidences of rolling blackouts in that country, as well as an uninterrupted water supply.

According to him, wheat production in Zimbabwe was not affected by rainfall patterns, since the crop was grown entirely under irrigation during winter, and was solely dependent on adequate rainfall to ensure that irrigation dams remained full.

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Annelie Coleman represents Farmer’s Weekly in the Free State, North West and Northern Cape. Agriculture is in her blood. She grew up on a maize farm in the Wesselsbron district where her brother is still continuing with the family business. Annelie is passionate about the area she works in and calls it ‘God’s own country’. She’s particularly interested in beef cattle farming, especially with the indigenous African breeds. She’s an avid reader and owns a comprehensive collection of Africana covering hunting in colonial Africa, missionary history of same period, as well as Rhodesian literature.