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Zimbabwe Plants 10% of Targeted Wheat Crop, Herald Reports

June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwean farmers have planted less than 5,000 hectares (12,355 acres) of winter wheat this year, below 10 percent of the targeted 60,000 hectares, the state-controlled Herald said.

Farmers haven’t been able to afford fertilizer and seed even with government subsidies, the Harare-based Herald said on its website, citing Berean Mukwende, vice president of the Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union, which represents mainly small and medium-scale farmers. Cuts in electricity supply have added to the decline in wheat production because the crop, grown in Zimbabwe’s dry winter, needs irrigation.

Zimbabwe consumes about 450,000 metric tons of wheat annually. The country has never produced sufficient wheat to meet its needs.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Latham in Johannesburg at blatham@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

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