Story by John Nhandara
THE government has announced producer prices for strategic crops such as maize, traditional grains, soya bean and sunflower.
The proposed producer prices for maize, traditional grains, soya bean, sunflower and wheat are obligatory prices for commodities being purchased by the Grain Market Board (GMB).
Addressing the media in Harare this Friday, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr Anxious Masuka said, GMB will only purchase strategic commodities financed under the Presidential Input Programme as well as by self-financed farmers.
GMB will pay a floor producer price of US$335 per metric tonne for maize and traditional grains and US$580 per metric tonne of soya bean and US$696 per metric tonne of sunflower.
The prices will be partly paid in foreign currency and the remainder in Zimbabwe dollars at the prevailing interbank rate.
The government has also set a pre-planting producer price of US$520 per metric tonne of wheat.
“A floor producer price of US$335 per metric tonne of maize and traditional grains paid to farmers by GMB as US$200 in foreign currency plus US$135 in local currency. US$580 per metric tonne for soya bean paid as US$348 in foreign currency and US$232 in local at the interbank rate,” said Minister Masuka.
Meanwhile, the government has liberalised the marketing of grain with all contractors that include the Food Crop Contractors Association and the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe allowed to buy back contracted crops.
Self-financed farmers will also sell their produce in the market or to the Grain Marketing Board.
“We have liberalised the market moving away from total government control because as the government, we are encouraging private player participation,” noted Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Clemence Chiduwa.
“That is why in this scenario we have come up with this arrangement of allowing private contractors to purchase grain,” he stated.
The proposed marketing and pricing system has been described as consistent with achieving both food and nutrition security and macroeconomic stability.