Government Doubles Maize Producer Prices As Farmers Bemoan Input Price Hikes

Image Source: African Business Journal

Letwin Mubonesi

Due to inflation, the Government has doubled the producer prices for maize and small grains for the 2019/2020 summer season in a bid to cushion farmers in line with the current economic environment.

Farmers received this government effort well however called on the government to rather respond on time and to already increase from this recent increase due to the daily increase in inputs.

In a statement issued by Grain Marketing Board (GMB), its Chief Executive Officer Mr Rockie Mutenha confirmed the increase of the producer prices.

He said, “The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) advises that the Government increased the producer prices for maize and traditional grains namely sorghum, millet and rapoko to $4 000 up from $2 100. Grain Marketing Board is encouraging farmers who still have grains to take advantage of the new prices and urgently deliver their produce to their nearest depot. For any clarification, farmers can contact the Grain Marketing Board corporate communications department.”

Zimbabwe National Farmers’ Union (ZFU) CEO Mr Edward Dune commended Government for increasing the producer prices, but bemoaned the high cost of farming inputs that farmers need for this farming season.

“We appreciate the increase of the producer prices because the low prices were now meaningless. This is what should be obtained as regards to commodity prices. It is impossible to contemplate how we are going to recapitalize or maintain agricultural sustainability this farming season because inputs are now expensive,” he said.

Zimbabwe Indigenous Women Farmers’ Association Trust (ZIWFAT) president Mrs Depinah Nkomo said the new producer prices came as a relief but the issue of inputs is still challenging because they were now expensive.

Mrs Nkomo said that, “It is good that the Government has reviewed these prices and it came as a relief but $4 000 is still very little because our farming inputs are now expensive. We hire tractors to plough and tractors need diesel and diesel prices are also hiking so it is about $500 to farm just one hectare. So it’s an issue that is worrying us as farmers, but we are relieved with the increase.”

Apart from the new producer prices, Government has also set up facilities through the Command Agriculture scheme for maize and soya beans which is mainly targeted at A2 farmer.

There is also the Presidential Inputs Scheme meant to enable smallholder farmers become food secure as well as address nutritional requirements at household level.

Nyari Mashayamombe

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