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GMB Maize Producer Price Too Little – Farmers

Unions representing farmers said the ZWL$75 000 per maize tonne being offered by the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) is too little.

On Tuesday, acting Information Minister, Jenfan Muswere told reporters in a post-Cabinet briefing that maize farmers will be given a fixed incentive of US$90 per tonne for early deliveries to GMB in addition to the ZWL$75 000.

Last month the Government also announced that grain farmers will be paid 30 per of their proceeds for deliveries to GMB in US dollars, with the rest being paid in Zimbabwe dollars.

Speaking to NewsDay on Tuesday, Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) president Shadreck Makombe said:

As it stands, the value of the $75 000 (US$150 parallel market rate) producer price has already been eroded.

Given the trend in terms of the exchange rate and inflation, I don’t foresee farmers managing to go back to the fields.

There is, therefore, a need to review the producer price to be in tandem with the movement of the exchange rate.

Farmers are lobbying for an increase in producer price, but it’s premature for me to say how much.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) Manicaland provincial manager Dennis Chisevure said:

With the current producer price, it won’t be possible to afford inputs.

However, the government is making plans to cushion farmers and to review the producer price.

This follows a push from farmers and unions.

Norton Farmers Association chairperson Orphias Matibhiri said some farmers end up selling their maize to individuals in US dollars for them to afford inputs.

A 25kg bag of seed maize now costs between $30 000 and $42 000, while 50kg Compound D fertiliser costs US$35 or $17 500; and Ammonium Nitrate is now pegged at US$70 or $35 000.

More: NewsDay

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