Former Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti has condemned the government’s decision announced on Tuesday to set the producer price of maize.
Biti says the move is set to benefit ZANU PF bigwigs who are the beneficiaries of Command Farming. He called for the removal of price controls for grain and the setting up of agricultural commodity markets where market forces will determine the price of farm produce. Said Biti:
The government decision to set the floor price of maize to $726 per ton is a self-serving parasitic move by Emmerson and his cabal. Controlling any price creates distortions and arbitrage. A ZANU cabinet full of command farmers can not set an artificial price of grain for self-benefit.
The price of grain must be decontrolled to prevent extractive arbitrage executed through GMB. A commodity exchange must be set up for all agricultural commodities where the market will determine price as in tobacco. That exchange should allow free trade in US$.
The prices are as follows:
- Maize – RTGS$726 per tonne
- Wheat – RTGS$1089.69 per tonne
- Soya – RTGS$918 per tonne
- Cotton – RTGS$1950 per tonne