Govt to subsidize winter wheat

wheatBULAWAYO - The Government has availed subsidised winter wheat inputs worth US$5.2 million through the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to support the 2011 Winter Wheat Season, an official has said.

GMBs general manager, Albert Mandizha called upon all wheat farmers to take advantage of this scheme to access inputs and contribute in ensuring national food security.

We are urging all farmers that have produced and delivered wheat to GMB in the previous years to take advantage of this government facility and enhance their chances of improving yields by planting early, he said.

Mandizha said farmers should take winter wheat farming seriously as there is proof that this winter will be a long one making it ideal for farmers to produce sufficient crops to boost the national food basket.

The Meteorological Department has already predicted a favourable long winter wheat growing season and GMB is hopeful that the 2011 yield will surpass the previous years yields of 19 998mt, he said.

To qualify, farmers should provide proof of identity, wheat delivery receipts, ZESA and ZINWA bills as proof that they are bona fide wheat farmers. Farmers without a track record of growing and delivering wheat to GMB can only benefit from this scheme after being cleared by the Secretary for Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, he said.

These precautions are being put in place to ensure transparency in the distribution of the inputs.

In addition, fertilizer and wheat seed carried over from the summer are immediately available. Fertiliser price is US$15.00 per 50kg bag while wheat seed price is US$0.50c per kg.

There will be more inputs from the US$10 million inputs facility and farmers will be advised when the inputs become available at the depots, added Mandizha.

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