The Sunday News
Sukoluhle Ndlovu, Midlands Correspondent
THE country`s sole yeast manufacturer, Lessafre has planted 64 hectares of wheat this winter season to complement Governments’ winter wheat programme.
In an interview, Lessafre General Manager Mr Munyaradzi Mutsvairo said the company has plant wheat at its Geluk Farm with a projected yield of about 450 metric tonnes. He said venturing into agriculture was also a way of managing excess effluent from yeast production. The effluent is rich in fertiliser.
“We have planted 64 hectares of wheat this winter season, with a projected yield of about 450 metric tonnes. The farming was done in our Geluk farm and we were a bit delayed by lack of water for irrigation because right now our dam is almost empty. We always plant winter wheat as a way of managing excess effluent coming out from our factory which is rich in various nutrients that stimulate plant growth. We have talked to the City of Gweru to provide us with more water from Ngamo Dam. We really hope they will consider our plea so that our project is successful. We have about 410 hectares which could be utilised but because of the water situation, we will only utilise 64 hectares this year,” he said.
Mr Mutsvairo said if water supply is adequate, the company can produce up to 3 000 tonnes of wheat.
“If we could get water to irrigate all 410 hectares of wheat, it means our farm can easily produce close to 3 000 tonnes of wheat which will significantly reduce amount of wheat imported from other countries,” he said.
Recently, Government announced that it is targeting to put 75 000 hectares under wheat production this winter farming season to significantly reduce wheat shortages in the country. About 60 000 hectares will be under Command Agriculture, while 15 000ha will be sponsored by the private sector under private, public partnership (PPP).