Zimbabwe Eyes Mozambique’s $216 Million Wheat Import Market
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Zimbabwe is considering exporting surplus Wheat to Mozambique from this year’s anticipated harvest of 420 000 tons, well above the country’s requirements of 360,000 tons annually. Last year, a record harvest of over 375,000 tons was achieved after planting Wheat on 80,000 hectares, and that created homegrown carryover stocks. But after scaling up the hectarage to 86,000 this year due to various progressive interventions by the Government led by President Mnangagwa, there are hopes of an even higher output in the region of 420,000 tons this year.
Speaking during a Wheat field day at Mema Estates in Banket, Mashonaland West recently, Secretary for Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr. John Basera said farmers should take advantage of massive markets that are in Mozambique to increase output. “This time, we want to export Wheat for the first time. Just because we did it last year, we have to do it again this year,” said Dr Basera. “Recently, a delegation from Mozambique visited Mashonaland West so that they could appreciate how we grow Wheat. Mozambique has a big market, so we need to aim for that. We need to produce our food as Africa.”
This year, the private sector funded 23,000 hectares out of the targeted 25,000 hectares, which is encouraging. Mashonaland West was praised for doing well in Wheat farming, adding that the province planted Wheat on 27,000 hectares out of this year’s 86,000 hectares of national hectarage.
“Mash West is indeed emerging as the country’s bread basket, and of course, Zimbabwe is emerging as the region’s breadbasket,” he said. The Government is prepared for Wheat growing this cropping season and works closely with important stakeholders such as ZESA and ZINWA to ensure uninterrupted power supply and adequate water to support irrigation.
The average Wheat yield is 5 tons per hectare. Wheat farmers at the field day said they anticipate a bumper harvest following a good rainfall season. A farmer at Mema Farm, Mr. Cleopas Mhakayakora, said: “So far, we are in Wheat production after harvesting soybean. Some of the fertilizers do not respond well to the type of our soils, so this year, we arranged with experts to prepare fertilizers that suit our soils.
Another farmer, Mrs. Rudo Makoni of Makonde, said veld fires and quelea birds were the only threats to Wheat production, adding that if control measures are implemented and strengthened, a bumper harvest is likely to be achieved. “We are happy that so far, there are no serious power cuts, and we appeal to authorities to implement measures that will control veld fires and quelea birds because these are the only menaces, we are afraid of,” she said.
The Government has been targeting increases in Wheat production to meet the national requirement in line with the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy, the Agriculture Recovery Plan, and the National Development Strategy.
Zimbabwean farmers are given guaranteed markets and preset prices but generally are paid at least global Wheat prices and usually a bit more to cover their irrigation costs. East European farmers get enough free water from snow and rain not to need pumps. But the very short distances from a Zimbabwean farm to a Zimbabwean miller means there is some slack in the transport costs to cope with this without undesirable subsidies to either producers or consumers.
Wheat Import in Mozambique
According to AgFlow data, Mozambique imported 0.16 million tons of Wheat from Russia in Jan-Jun 2023, followed by Lithuania (85,900 tons) and Latvia (18,600 tons). In 2021, Mozambique imported Wheat worth $216 million, becoming the world’s 57th largest importer of Wheat. In the same year, Wheat was Mozambique’s 10th most imported product. Mozambique imports Wheat primarily from Australia ($78.9 million), Poland ($25.6 million), Canada ($24.6 million), Russia ($24.1 million), and Ukraine ($15.8 million).
Other sources: CLUB OF MOZAMBIQUE
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