Zimbabwe Expects Enough Wheat For The First Time Since 2005
22 September 2021
Zimbabwe for the first time since 2005 expects to have wheat which is enough to meet the country's demand. The Southern African country expects to harvest over 300 000 tonnes this year.
Cabinet claimed Tuesday that over 66 000 hectares were put to wheat this year, the third-highest hectarage since Independence. Speaking during a Post Cabinet Media briefing in Harare, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said:
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The nation is being informed that following a successful wheat season, Zimbabwe 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 on the 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.
The expected produce will see Zimbabwe only reducing the quantity of imported wheat as it still needs to import some of its wheat.
To produce the quality of bread sold by most large bakeries, millers have to blend local wheat, which they describe as “dense”, with imported wheat. One miller said:
We will still import some wheat, but this time only for blending. We also need to import ingredients such as packaging, fats, enzymes, gluten, calcium and premixes.
This year, farmers were hit by an outbreak of quelea birds, which farmers say may affect output.
Previously, harvesting was hit by a shortage of combine harvesters, a challenge that farmers' unions say will be addressed this year.
Wheat harvests are expected to end in November.