Farmers seek maize producer price review

Farmers are appealing to Government to review the maize producer price in line with the current exchange rate as well as the trends on the international markets to preserve value to the producer and encourage production.

Some farmers have called on authorities to ensure the producer price, that includes the 30 percent bonus, becomes permanent even after the July 31 deadline.

Initially, the maize producer price was pegged at $12 327 per tonne, while the traditional grains were $12 865 per tonne. The 30 percent incentive means farmers will now be getting a producer price of $16 028 per tonne of maize delivered, while the price for the traditional grains will now be $16 725 per tonne.

The 30 percent incentive on the floor producer price for maize and traditional grains is for deliveries made between April 1 and July 31.

Farmers yesterday said the current maize producer price had been overtaken by events and was no longer viable considering the prices of inputs, which were being pegged at parallel market rates.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union executive director, Mr Paul Zakariya yesterday said when using the parallel market conservative rate of US1:90 at the current Grain Marketing Board rate, a tonne would be sold at US$170 and this was far way below the import parity rate.

“The producer prices needs to be reviewed upwards.

“There is speculation that the price could be increased in August and some farmers have been holding on to their crop waiting for the increase.

“A reviewed price will encourage farmers to deliver their grain. It is disturbing to note that the country will end up importing grain at a higher price when the same commodity could have been procured at a reasonable price from local farmers,” he said.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Mr Shadreck Makombe said some farmers were relying on the grapevine and this could affect marketing of the crop.

He urged Government to communicate with farmers so they do not rely on speculation.

“We hope after the July 31 deadline for bonuses, the producer price of $16 028 per tonne becomes official.”–

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