Zimbabwe has self sufficient wheat harvest for the first time since 2005





THE country is anticipating to record more than 300 000 metric tonnes of the cereal, against a national annual requirement of 360 000 metric tonnes following a successful wheat season.

In her post Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said this was against backdrop of the current national wheat stocks which stand at 70 000 metric tonnes, making Zimbabwe wheat self-sufficient for the first time since 2005.

“Following a successful wheat season the country is anticipating a volume of more than 300 000 metric tonnes of the cereal, against a national annual requirement of 360 000 metric tonnes. This is against backdrop of the current national wheat stocks which stand at 70 000 metric tonnes, making Zimbabwe wheat self-sufficient for the first time since 2005,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She said Cabinet has approved an upward review of the wheat floor producer price to $55 517.69 per metric tonner for ordinary grade wheat at a 15 percent return on investment and $66 621.22 per metric tonne for premium grade wheat during the 2021 marketing season.

The upward review will enable farmers to go back into production.

“Following extensive consultations with various stakeholders, including farmers’ unions, Cabinet has approved an upward review of the wheat floor producer price to $55 517.69 per mt for ordinary grade wheat at a percent return on investment, and $66 621.22 per mt for premium grade wheat during the 2021 marketing season.

“The upward review of the producer prices is being necessitated by changes in input prices which in turn resulted in higher production costs. Farmers expect viability in their operations, and are grappling with cost increases in Labour (51 percent); fertilizers, both Compound D and Ammonium Nitrate (27 percent); and tractor and equipment (144 percent). The input increases have a net effect of a 32 percent increase on the total variable cost per hectare,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She added” The net contribution of inputs to total wheat production costs in 2021 is as follows: labour, 3.19 percent; seed, 5.1 percent; fertilisers, 26.15 percent; chemicals, 3.20 percent; and operations, 12.37 percent. The biggest driver of costs is the cost of borrowing which stands at 40 percent,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said viable producer price will incentivise farmers to deliver their wheat crop to the Grain Marketing Board. She said the GMB has made adequate preparations for the 2021 wheat intake. Minister Mutsvangwa said in addition Government will avail the requisite funds to pay for deliveries. She said the harvesting of the wheat is expected to commence this week and should be completed by mid-November 2021.