Arda puts 300 hectares under wheat

Ndodana Sibanda shows how the center pivot works to water the wheat in Arda Jotsholo recently. (picture by Nkosizile Ndlovu)

THE Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) Jotsholo Estate has so far planted 83,3 percent of the 300 hectares of land it plans to put under the Command Wheat Programme.

Arda Jotsholo general manager Mr Adrian Josthol, told Sunday Business they would soon be completing planting 50 hectares which were left to reach the targeted 300 hectares.

“We have planted 250ha of wheat so far and we should be planting another 50ha soon. The planted crop is at three and five leaf stages because the crop was planted in phases,” he said.

In 2017, the estate had 150ha under wheat production with a yield of about six tonnes per hectare.

“This year, we are expecting at least eight tonnes per ha,” said Mr Josthol.

In Matabeleland region, wheat is also grown at Mary Ellen Farm in Bubi District and Arda Antelope Estate in Kezi District, Matabeleland South Province.

Last month, the Government launched the 67 000ha Command Wheat Programme, which at minimal yield is expected to significantly reduce Zimbabwe’s cereal import bill. Pursuant to the Government’s efforts to guarantee food security, the Command Agriculture Programme is targeting 50 000ha under winter wheat this season funded by Sakunda while a further17 000ha will be funded by other contractors.