Mutendi targets 1 392t wheat this season

Nyashadzaishe Rushwaya

MASVINGO RURAL-Located in the heart of Masvingo District’s fertile farmlands, Mutendi Farm is a family-owned operation that has been producing the staple crop, maize for decades.

This year, the farm is focusing on wheat, a hardy crop that thrives in winter and they are targeting to produce 1 392 tons of the main ingredient for bread making against the national target of 400 000 tones.

Mutendi farm manager, Josephat Zendera told The Midweek Watch that they are closely monitoring the wheat fields to ensure that they have the best crop and maximum yield of 8 tons per hectare.

“Winter wheat is a crucial part of our crop rotation strategy,” said Zendera.

From the 17th of April to 23rd of May, 2024  they have managed to plant 174 hectares which is the space that can be covered by the current centre pivots that they have on the ground. 

Zendera said their wheat crop is at three levels, angle, vegetative and the germination levels.

They are projecting that they will start harvesting in early September and all their crop will be delivered to the Grain Marketing Board.

However, Zendera said that despite a thriving winter crop, they have their own set of challenges hindering production at Zion Christian Church aligned farm and these include massive unscheduled power cuts which affect irrigation as the wheat requires a lot of water.

He said sometimes they are forced to resort to generators which are quite expensive to run as they also experience frequent breakdowns.

GMB does not pay farmers on time and they are not spared as they are still owed money from last season and this affect their planning for the coming season.

The Zimbabwe National Water Authority is another thorn in the flesh as they are rationing water due to the El Nino induced drought that led to reduced water in the dams because they give preference to the lowveld especially sugarcane farmers.

At the moment they are drawing water from the nearby Mbungo and Black Jesus dams, but they haven’t yet got the dam statistics to see if they will be able to irrigate the wheat throughout the season.

They also want more centre pivots in order to increase hectarage to be planted for both maize and wheat as they have a lot of land at the farm.

Last year Mutendi Farm delivered 453 tons of wheat to the GMB.

Masvingo Province has set a target of 5 000 hectares of land to be put under wheat and a yield of 25 000 tons.

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