This African Country Sets New Record for Wheat Production
Zimbabwe has a diverse agricultural sector that includes crops such as maize, wheat, soybeans, traditional cereals and more. According to the African Union, agriculture is crucial to Zimbabwe's economy, contributing between 12% and 18% to the country's GDP.
Zimbabwe's farmers have harvested nearly 457,000 tonnes of wheat, the country's Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development said on Thursday.
According to the statistics released by the Ministry, the average yield per hectare for the season is between 5.1 and 5.3 tonnes, which represents a new record in the country's wheat production. This is the highest national wheat production since 1966.
Farmers planted wheat on 90,998 hectares of land this season. Zimbabwe has harvested 88,000 hectares (97% of the land), yielding 456,995 metric tonnes of wheat, already exceeding the initial forecast of 440,844 metric tonnes. The final harvest will be higher when the remaining 2,998 hectares are completed.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Professor Obert Jiri, has encouraged farmers to accelerate the harvest of their crops to ensure that the remaining 3% is completed before the onset of heavy rains.
The national demand for wheat is 360,000 tonnes per year. Last season, the country produced 375,000 tonnes of wheat on 81,000 hectares. As of November 2023, the national stock of this product is about 140,000 tonnes.
In terms of economic development initiatives, agriculture is one of the priorities for Zimbabwe. In 2020, the government of Zimbabwe announced a five-year national development plan called the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS I). The main objective of this plan is to ensure economic growth and socio-economic transformation in the country, according to a report released by the African Union.
"The overarching goal of NDS1 is to ensure high, accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth as well as socio-economic transformation and development as the country moves towards an upper middle-income society status by 2030," the report reads.
According to the document, Zimbabwe's agricultural sector grew by 36% in the first two years of implementation of the plan, contributing 7.8% to the country's economic growth.