THE government is consulting with farmers and other stakeholders to come up with pre-planting producer prices that are competitive for the 2021/22 planting season.
“To enable farmers to plan ahead, the government, in consultation with stakeholders including farmers organisations, will announce pre-planting prices for strategic agricultural commodities such as maize, traditional grains, soya beans and cotton,” Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said in a speech read on his behalf by the Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka, pictured.
“The final producer prices are also determined through a consultative process that also includes farmers through their Farmers Unions. The producer prices are fair and compare well with import parity prices,” Chiwenga said.
He was speaking at the Zimbabwe Farmers Union 81st Annual Congress held in Gweru under the theme Making Markets Make Sense.
According to Chiwenga, the government is also supporting cotton farmers by subsidising their wages as the crop price is too low for sustainability.
“Cotton farmers have been paid a subsidy by the government for last year and this season showing the government’s commitment to supporting the smallholder sector. In the sector, export parity prices are too low for farmer viability.”
“Our economy is agro-based, and agriculture is considered a strategic economic sector. The sector will continue to enjoy preferential government support. I call upon you, farmers, to support the government in accomplishing our shared vision; to be a Middle-Income Economy by 2030.”The vice president said.
Announcements are made ahead of each cropping season as it is essential for farmers to establish if there is a ready market in which the government is ready to pay for ensuring the farmer viability and incentives for producers to grow these strategic crops.
The current producer prices per metric tonne for white maize is $ 32 000, sorghum $38 000, millet $38 000, soya beans $140 000 and groundnuts $75 000.
by Melisa Chatikobo