Zimbabwe: Load Shedding Threatens Wheat Production

Mashonaland West Bureau — THE current load shedding being effected by Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has been cited by farmers as threatening this year’s winter wheat yield output.

Speaking this morning during a field day at his Chitomborwizi farm in Makonde district, Mr Penikat Magwada said load shedding was a threat to the crop that he planted in June.

While Government had assured wheat farmers of a non-load shedding season, the depressed generation on the grid coupled with electricity demand has seen the power utility limit power supply.

The country has surpassed its winter wheat target to about 80 000 hectares with the majority of it being funded under the National Enhanced Agriculture Production Scheme (NEAPS), Pfumvudza and the private sector.

Like most farmers in the area, Mr Magwada, who has 165 hectares under the crop, is contemplating dedicating the other portion which is currently constrained by low water supply for stock feed.

Irrigated winter wheat requires an uninterrupted power supply.

The Government has dedicated funding towards the fight against quelea birds with the spraying of roosting areas underway.


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