Zimbabwe is set to achieve its highest ever wheat harvest this year, with a projected yield of over 415,000 tonnes. This represents a 10 percent increase from the previous record harvest in the previous season. The data, collected by Zimbabwe’s first satellite, ZimSat-1, using multi-temporal satellite imagery, accurately predicted this year’s winter crop production.
The technique of collecting satellite images at different times allows experts to monitor crop growth and agricultural conditions effectively. In this case, ZimSat-1 obtained images between May and August 2023, which provided essential information for accurate mapping purposes.
According to the data, approximately 79,928.55 hectares were dedicated to winter wheat cultivation, with an additional 2,884.75 hectares allocated for barley cultivation. The projected national production figures estimate the wheat harvest to be 415,628.46 tonnes, with barley production anticipated to reach around 15,000.7 tonnes. This is based on an average yield of 5.2 tonnes per hectare.
Farmers in various provinces contributed to this bumper harvest. Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, and Manicaland were among the provinces with the highest wheat cultivation. Masvingo, Matabeleland North, and Matabeleland South also made significant contributions.
President Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe announced the country’s plans to begin exporting wheat this year, thanks to the successful harvest. The increase in wheat production will contribute to Zimbabwe’s goal of achieving food and nutrition security at both the household and national level.
With a record harvest and aspirations to become a net exporter of wheat, Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector is poised for growth and economic development.