Reprieve for wheat farmers

Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) will give additional support to wheat farmers this winter to ensure a successful season, the power utility has said.

BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA

ZETDC said it would channel additional support to the farmers and a number of other key institutions like hospitals, national security establishments, airports and broadcasting stations and major central business districts.

“In addition, winter wheat irrigation will receive additional support in the 2015 season in order to ensure the success of the crop,” said the power utility in a statement on Thursday.

Farmers yesterday welcomed the move saying they had engaged the power utility last season and it delivered.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union president Wonder Chabikwa said there were challenges at the beginning of May but the problems at Hwange had since been rectified.

“We clustered our wheat farming areas and came up with a plan to have four days of uninterrupted supply per week. Last year they agreed to our request and we are confident they will do the same this year,” said Chabikwa.

He said planting was underway and indications from millers were that they needed up to 90 000 metric tonnes of the grain this season.
Farmer Godfrey Chingwe said GMB should increase the producer price of wheat to at least $580 per tonne to ensure viability.

“It will help us to pay for our overheads and acquire inputs for the following season. The other issue is it is important that the GMB pays farmers on time to ensure viability.

That way we will not have to wait to produce more crops as the finances will be readily available,” he said.

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