PRODUCER prices for maize, traditional summer grains, soyabeans and sunflower seed were increased by 33 percent yesterday by the Grain Marketing Board, with the US$90 a tonne incentive for all summer grains and oil seeds retained.
The producer price for maize and traditional grains rose to $100 000 plus US$90 a tonne, up from $75 000 and US$90 a tonne.
Soyabeans were increased to $228 666 and US$90 per tonne up from $171 495 plus $90 per tonne.
Sunflower seed rose to $274 392 and US$90 per tonne up from $205 794 and US$90 per tonne.
GMB chief executive Mr Rockie Mutenha encouraged farmers to deliver their harvests immediately to the nearest depot or collection point.
“We are also encouraging farmers who had not opened their nostro accounts to do so to enable us to deposit their foreign currency component,” he said.
Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Dr Shadreck Makombe applauded the Government for raising the producer prices.
“As farmers we acknowledge and appreciate such a good gesture from the Government. This shows the Government is sensitive to the plight of farmers.
“We encourage the Government to continue reviewing upwards the producer prices in tandem with the economic environment.
“We appreciate that the Government is in the right direction and we encourage farmers to deliver their grain to the GMB and take advantage of the money to buy inputs,” he said.
Dr Makombe said some unscrupulous dealers were in the habit of increasing input prices whenever GMB increased producer prices and he wanted the authorities to look into the issue.
Zimbabwe Indigenous Women Farmers Association Trust president Mrs Depinah Nkomo thanked the Government for the price review.
“We are grateful to the Government for the price rise. However, we feel this should be done constantly as input costs are increasing everyday. Government must also increase the foreign currency component.
“If the Government pays farmers 50 percent local currency and 50 percent foreign currency for maize it will be better. Sunflower is making more profit and most farmers will end up concentrating on it and few farmers will grow the staple maize, “ she said.
Goromonzi farmer Mrs Matilda Ngwerume said the price increase will motivate farmers to increase production during the next summer cropping season.
“Now that we are planning for the next season, this is a good move. We are going to increase production,” she said.
In a state of preparedness report for the next summer cropping season, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development said price reviews were necessitated by the continued increase in input costs, outside factors that include global supply chain disruptions and assorted bans on exports of cereal and raw materials, and internal factors, principally inflation. Government is targeting two million hectares of maize to produce three million tonnes, 380 000 hectares of sorghum to produce 304 000 tonnes and 70 000 hectares of soyabean to produce 140 000 tonnes and 165 000 hectares of sunflower to produce 82 500 tonnes.