Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
FARMERS have welcomed the increase in maize producer price from $726 to $1 400 per tonne and look forward to using their proceeds to buy inputs for the coming cropping season.
Announcing the new price after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Government said the maize producer price of US$242 per tonne must be paid in RTGS dollars but at the prevailing interbank market rate.
Zimbabwe Federation of Farmers’ Union chairman, Mr Wonder Chabikwa, said farmers were previously not happy with $726 per tonne announced in April as they felt the interbank exchange rate was not stable.
“The newly gazetted maize producer price of $1 400 per tonne is a positive move although we need to try to keep with international prices. What is particularly giving hope is the quotation in US dollar. Farmers have always been advocating for a quote in US dollar payable in RTGS$ at the ruling interbank rate,” said Mr Chabikwa.
Government has warned retailers against increasing the mealie meal price saying the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) buying price remained unchanged.
Speaking at a joint meeting with retailers and wholesalers in Bulawayo last month, the Grain Millers’ Association of Zimbabwe president, Mr Tafadzwa Musarara, said millers were maintaining a 10 percent mark-up retail price on mealie-meal and other basics and rejected the selling of the products in foreign currency.
Mr Chabikwa said once they start receiving payment for their deliveries, farmers should immediately buy critical inputs given the changing prices
“My advice to farmers is once they start receiving payment for their deliveries to the GMB, they should immediately buy inputs for the next cropping season.