Farmers have expressed concern over high input costs, especially fertiliser, and have implored the government to intervene and eliminate “profiteering” by businesses.
Business Times has established that a 50kg bag of top dressing fertiliser is now selling at US$60, a 33% increase from US$45 last year.
The price of basal fertiliser has also gone up by almost 50% to between US$35-45 per 50kg from around US$25-30 last season.
Zimbabwe National Farmers Union (ZNFU) secretary general, Stewart Mubonderi called for “sensible pricing”. He said:
We have an excessive profiteering problem in our nation, where individuals want to earn a lot of money in one night, but there will be very few buyers due to the high prices.
So we ask the corporations doing this to be sensible and provide farmers with fair pricing, and also the government to engage them constructively and ensure that these unwarranted price increases we are seeing are stopped and avoided.
The president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU), Shadreck Makombe, said the high input prices would negatively affect the 2022/23 season. Makombe said:
There is a need for the government to intervene in the short term through targeted and time limited input subsidies so as to alleviate the plight of vulnerable farmers and to ensure affordable and viable inputs.
It [the price of diesel] has been going down. We would have expected the prices of goods to also go down in tandem with the going down of diesel, which is one of the major inputs in prices.
Unfortunately it’s not happening that way. So at the end of the day farmers are the ones who are suffering.
Makombe proposed that manufacturers of farming inputs deal directly with farmers to eliminate middlemen in order to reduce the high prices.