An exceptional farmer puts 750 ha under wheat

the herald

Patrick Chitumba
Head of Midlands Office
When one visits the DCK farm on the outskirts of Kwekwe town, one is greeted by gushing water from central pivots strategically placed at various points to water a lush green winter wheat crop.

The farm which planted 750 hectares in winter wheat is expected to contribute significantly to wheat production this season.

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

The Russian-Ukrainian war has disrupted wheat exports from the two countries, which supply a third of the world’s wheat.

The DCK farm is owned by Mr. Douglas Kwande and he is one of the indigenous farmers who have responded to the government’s call to make farming a business.

The government is working hard to help farmers increase production to improve food security, hence its urge to farmers, especially those who received prime farmland under the land reform programme, to to engage in commercial agriculture so that Zimbabwe can once again regain its status as the bread of the region. basket.

Mr Kwande probably has the largest hectare of wheat in the Midlands province, if not the country, hence hopes he will contribute significantly to wheat production this season.

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

In an interview, DCK Farm Manager, Mr. Duncan Magaya, said that agriculture is an economic enabler.

He said last year they cultivated 300 hectares of wheat and this year they increased the area to 750.

“We have 750 hectares of winter wheat this year and our crop is now in the flowering stage. We used to plant less than 300 hectares, but after the government threatened to take back underutilized land, we decided to increase our wheat area. We cleared more than 450 hectares last year and that allowed us to plant 750 hectares this winter,” Mr. Magaya said.

He said agriculture remains one of the key sectors which is expected to contribute significantly to economic growth and what is heartening is that the government has put in place several initiatives to help farmers increase their production. .

“We have responded to the president’s call to increase production and develop our agricultural sector to improve food security. As farmers, we have an obligation to supply raw materials to our agro-industries and that is exactly what we are doing,” said Mr. Magaya.

He said they expected to harvest at least 4,500 tons this year.

“What we expect to harvest this year should go a long way towards national production,” Magaya said.

He said they have 116 employees on the farm and there are also students on secondment, a confirmation that the farm is helping to train future farmers.

Besides wheat, he said they also grow potatoes.

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“At the DCK farm, we do horticulture and 80 hectares are set aside for growing potatoes in rotation throughout the year. We have 15 hectares being harvested and 65 hectares are in various stages of production, Mr. Magaya said.

He said the DCK farm also specializes in livestock and has more than 2,000 cattle.

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

He said government policy interventions and financial support given to farmers by various institutions have enabled farmers to increase their production.

“The government has been very supportive in terms of contributions. Planting 750 hectares of wheat requires a lot of inputs and so we are very grateful to the government,” Mr. Magaya said.

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