Source: Agro processors review producer price | The Herald 03 OCT, 2019
Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
Private agricultural commodity processors have reviewed their producer prices upwards, a move that is set to boost farmers’ preparations for the 2019-2020 summer cropping season.
Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri yesterday said Government is in the process of procuring inputs for the season with funds having already been transferred from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to his ministry for disbursement.
Minister Shiri said Government was also working closely with all stakeholders in the agriculture sector to ensure a smooth 2019-2020 summer cropping season.
He said inputs procurement was underway with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development having also transferred funds to the Ministry of Lands for further disbursement to the relevant authorities for the procurement of inputs for this season.
“There have been concerns over the increase of inputs prices with some farmers complaining that the producer prices were no longer viable because they have been eroded due to the escalation in costs of production.”
Minister Shiri said agro processors, who buy agricultural produce from farmers had reviewed prices upwards and this was a positive move towards strengthening the preparedness of farmers ahead of the onset of the rainfall season.
“Consumers or processors of agro products have announced an improved producer price. I learnt that some processors such as Silo Foods are now buying maize at $4 000 per tonne. This is a great improvement from the $2 100 per tonne which was being offered by the Grain Marketing Board,” he said.
“Minister Shiri said farmers sell their produce at viable prices they will be able to buy adequate inputs. Will be having a briefing tomorrow (today) with all stakeholders,” he said.
He said there was need for farmers to access inputs early ahead of the onset of the rainy season.
According to experts timing is important in farming and any delays in planting will result in loss of yields.
“Money has been transferred from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to the Ministry of Lands for disbursements. For the Presidential Inputs Scheme in the form of maize and traditional grains inputs that will be directed to the GMB and cotton inputs will be directed to Cottco.
“The process of acquiring inputs is underway. We are aware we are about to enter the rainy season and there is need to avail inputs like yesterday and we are holding a series of co-ordination meetings with various stakeholders. Farmers are quite anxious waiting for the inputs and we are going to ensure they have inputs timely,” he said.
“The process of procuring inputs is already work in progress. There is need to avail inputs early.