Bumper wheat harvest to anchor agricultural sector growth

the herald

Elton Manguwo

The expected bumper wheat yield for the country of 380,000 tons will set the tone for the growth and transformation of the agricultural sector and ultimately the economy in line with Vision 2030 of an upper-middle-income society. .

The Chairman of the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ), Mr. Tafadzwa Musarara, recently observed that the success of the wheat sub-sector would help increase the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country thanks to a better appetite of local industries. for the use of raw materials produced locally. Such a development would give impetus to the drive to achieve Vision 2030, he said.

“The intention to shift the path from a net importer to a net exporter is crucial as it not only relieves pressure on the import bill, but puts the country on a positive growth path,” Musarara said.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr John Basera, also revealed that the government plans to increase the area of ​​wheat from the current 79,000 ha. at 100,000 ha.

As Zimbabwe’s economy is agriculture-based, growth in the agriculture sector will spur economic development through improved availability of raw materials, which will have a domino effect on agro-industrial industries.

Disruptions to the global supply chain in Eastern Europe caused bread prices to surge more than 100% in local currency, with month-on-month inflation hitting 15.5% in April 2022, compared to 7.7% in March 2022.

The expected bumper harvest will have a substantial effect on the economy, as the money that was going to be exported out of the country will help develop and strengthen the local agricultural sector in terms of mechanization and irrigation development.

Partnerships between private actors and farmers are key to empowering farmers to produce, lifting them out of poverty while paving the way for rural development, Dr Basera added.

Disruptions to the global value chain caused by the Russian-Ukrainian war prompted the ministry to increase productivity by expanding the National Agricultural Productivity Improvement Program (NEAPS) to allow the participation of private actors in the procurement of contracts with farmers and entering into joint venture agreements.

“Private sector actors supported over 33%, or 30,000% of the total area. We believe that private sector involvement is more sustainable than the government funding 100% of production,” said Dr Basera.

Meanwhile, an economic analyst, Victor Bhoroma, has also added his voice to the issue saying that local wheat production towards self-sufficiency will solve the country’s bread problems, which is a crucial aspect to deal with the effects driving shocks in global supply chains. It also reduces the effect of imported inflation, he observed in an interview with CGTN Afrique.

Last year, the country imported an average of 300,000 tons of wheat worth $125 million.

Lana T. Arthur