Costs slow agric preps

Source: Costs slow agric preps | The Herald August 5, 2019

Costs slow agric preps(file) Prices of maize seed have skyrocketed with a 25kg packet going for as much $250 in some Harare retail outlets over the weekend

Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
Inputs uptake for the 2019-20 summer cropping season is still low with most farmers expected to turn to Government inputs schemes due to high seed costs.

Most farmers could not get high yields from the previous cropping season due to drought and are therefore unable to fund this year’s cropping season.

Zimbabwe is expecting 852 000 tonnes from the 2018/2019 summer cropping season, which is below the annual national requirement of 1,8 million tonnes. Seed and fertiliser industries yesterday confirmed that uptake for inputs was still low.

Zimbabwe Seed Traders Association president Mr Amon Mwashaireni said: “Seed outflow is currently very low to date as compared to the same time last year. I think this has to do with the current liquidity challenges facing farmers and many other consumers.

“We expect sales to improve starting September. Last year’s drought affected most farmers such that they could not sell anything. Many actually need grain support from Government. Over the past years, most farmers always wait for Government programmes for farming. We are happy the recently announced Mid-Term Supplementary Budget also focus on increasing production and productivity maize and soyabeans.”

A 10kg bag of maize seed is pegged at between $190 and $230 while a 25kg bag costs up to $800.
Fertiliser industry spokesman Mr Tapiwa Mashingaidze said fertiliser was available on the market, but uptake was low.

“Uptake is still low. There is a huge concern that farmers will not be able to afford the inputs. A lot of farmers will this season depend on Government facilities.”

Fertiliser is also being sold at between $200 and $300 for a 50kg bag.
Zimbabwe Indigenous Women Farmers Association Trust president, Mrs Depinah Nkomo said this season was not easy for many farmers who were affected by the drought.