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Wheat Shortfall Looming In Zimbabwe as Farmers Shift to Other Crops

Zimbabwe's wheat supply stands to tighten as farmers hit by financial pressures move away from the crop which requires a considerable up-front investment for success.

The state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted the National Farmers Union as saying many wheat farmers cannot afford to purchase essential agricultural inputs due to the country's shift to a multiple hard currency monetary regimen and prohibitive loan conditions.

Many have therefore shifted their cropping to barley, the report said.

Zimbabwe needs 400,000 metric tonnes of wheat to meet national requirements, but agricultural expert Renson Gasela of the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Arthur Mutambara says he expects a harvest of only about 5,000-10,000tonnes.

Gasela also told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that this year's maize harvest has not been that good despite reports it exceeded expectations.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...