DCK farm heeds President Mnangagwa’s call to grow agriculture

04 Aug, 2022 - 00:08 0 Views
DCK farm heeds President Mnangagwa’s call to grow agriculture DCK Farm manager Mr Duncan Magaya

The Chronicle

Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
When one visits DCK farm on the outskirts of Kwekwe city, he or she is greeted by a cool breeze as a result of water from centre pivots sprinklers watering a lush green winter wheat crop.

The farm which has put 750 hectares under winter wheat is expected to contribute significantly to national wheat production this season.

The country is aiming for self-sufficiency in wheat production with about 75 000 hectares planted this winter, which is expected to produce more than 383 000 tonnes of wheat.

The Russia/Ukraine war has disrupted the two countries’ wheat exports as the pair supply a third of the world’s wheat.

The winter wheat crop at DCK farm on the outskirts of Kwekwe

DCK farm is owned by Mr Douglas Kwande and he is among indigenous farmers who have embraced the call by Government to take farming as a business.

Government is working hard to assist farmers to boost production in order to enhance food secuirty hence it is urging farmers especially those allocated prime farming land under the land reform programme to venture into commercial farming so that Zimbabwe can once again regain its status of being the region’s bread basket.

Mr Kwande has probably the largest hectarage under wheat in the Midlands province if not the country hence hopes are high that he will contribute significantly to wheat production this season.

The farm uses centre pivots to irrigate the crop which is a very efficient method and all that is required is uninterrupted power supply.

In an interview, DCK farm manager Mr Duncan Magaya said agriculture is an economic enabler.

He said last year they put 300 hectares under wheat and this year they increased the hectarage to 750.

“We have 750 hectares of winter wheat this year and our crop is now at flowering stage.

We used to plant less than 300 hectares but after Government threatened to take back the underutilised land we decided to increase our hectarage under wheat.

We cleared more than 450 hectares last year and this enabled us to plant 750 hectares this winter season,” said Mr Magaya.

He said agriculture remains one of the key sectors expected to significantly contribute to economic growth and what is pleasing is that Government has come up with several initiatives to assist farmers to increase production.

“We responded to the call by the President to increase production and grow our agriculture sector in order to enhance food security.

As farmers we have an obligation to provide raw materials to our agro-based industries and we are doing exactly that,” said Mr Magaya.

He said they were expecting to harvest at least 4 500 tonnes this year.

“What we are expecting to harvest this year should go a long way in contributing to the national production,” said Mr Magaya.

He said they have 116 employees at the farm and there are also students on attachment, a confirmation that the farm is contributing to training of future farmers.

Alongside wheat, they also grow potatoes.

“At DCK farm we do horticulture and 80 hectares are reserved for growing potatoes on rotation throughout the year.

We have 15 hectares being harvested and 65 hectares are at various stages of production, said Mr Magaya.

He said DCK farm is also into animal husbandry and has more than 2 000 cattle.

Mr Magaya said they are leasing a nearby farm because their farm is too small to accommodate all the cattle.

He said policy interventions by the Government and financial support given to farmers by various institutions has made it possible for the farmers to increase production.

“Government has been very supportive in terms of inputs. Planting 750 hectares of wheat needs a lot of inputs and we are therefore very grateful to Government,” said Mr Magaya

Speaking in Chimanimani recently, President Mnangagwa highlighted the good performance in winter wheat production, noting that the country has enough to last 13 months.

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