The Sunday News
Sukoluhle Ndlovu, Midlands Correspondent
A TOTAL of 32 communal irrigation schemes in Midlands have been earmarked for the winter wheat crop under the Command Agriculture programme.
In an interview, Midlands crop and livestock Officer Mrs Medlinah Magwenzi said she was optimistic that the province will achieve its target of 11 000 hectares and was hopeful that a good harvest will come from the irrigation schemes.
“We have 32 irrigation schemes which were identified by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement. As a province, we will make sure that the schemes will be able to water the wheat until the ripening stage. This programme is funded by the Government through Command Agriculture. The Government will also partner with Arda and various financial institutions in a quest to achieve the target of 11 000 hectares,” she said.
Mrs Magwenzi said 60 farmers in the province have also registered to grow winter wheat this season.
“For now, we have registered 60 farmers who want to be part of the winter wheat programme as well as four institutions and many more are still coming in,” she said.
She said there is enough water to irrigate.
“This year we have so much water for irrigating wheat as a result of good rains received this year,” she said.
Mrs Magwenzi also encouraged farmers whose farms are located near wetlands to participate in winter wheat production.
“We encourage farmers whose farms are near wetlands to take advantage of such and join winter wheat farming. Inputs will be availed to them through the Presidential winter wheat production scheme,” she said.
Mrs Magwenzi called upon farmers who have irrigating capacity to join the winter wheat farming programme.