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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Maize and traditional grains set at US$335 per tonne

Story by Bruce Chahwanda

The government has announced the pre-planting producer price for maize, traditional grains and other strategic crops.

In a move meant to ensure food security and growth in the agricultural sector the producer price for maize has been pegged at US$335 per tonne, while soya bean has been set at US$597 per tonne.

The government has classified maize, traditional grains, soya bean and cotton as strategic crops, hence the announcement of pre-planting producer prices for the summer cropping season.

In a joint media briefing this Wednesday, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development and that of Finance and Economic Development concurred the move is meant to achieve food security and macroeconomic stability.

“A 2022/2023 season pre-planting producer price for maize of USD 335/MT. A 2022/2023 season pre-planting producer price for traditional grains of USD 335/MT derived from the determined maize pre-planting producer price. A soya bean pre-planting producer price of USD597.59/MT for the 2022/23 season. A sunflower pre-planting producer price of USD687.23/MT, giving farmers a 15% premium above soya bean price. A cotton pre-planting producer price of USD 0.40/kg for grade D cotton, USD0.41/kg for grade C, USD0.43/kg, for grade B and USD0.46 for grade A cotton,” he said.

Government has also indicated that COTTCO and the Grain Marketing Board will buy strategic commodities while contractors will have access to their contracted crops.

“The following marketing arrangements are also being proposed for the 2022/2023 season; the proposed prices for maize, traditional grains, soya bean and sunflower are obligatory prices for grains purchased by GMB and the proposed price for cotton is an obligatory price for cotton purchased by Cottco. GMB and Cottco will only purchase strategic commodities financed under the Presidential Input Programme as well as by self-financed farmers. However, the GMB may purchase grains from contractors. All contractors including the Food Crop Contractors Association (FCCA), Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) and Agriculture Finance Corporation (AFC) are obligated to buy back contracted Crops at market prices,” he said.

As a way of tracking national stocks of maize and other grains, government will issue a statutory instrument that mandates private players to provide returns on storage.

Since inception, the Second Republic has been on an accelerated drive to grow the agricultural sector to ensure national food security.

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