Farmers welcome new producer prices

Source: Farmers welcome new producer prices | The Herald April 12, 2019

Farmers welcome new producer pricesMrs Nkomo

Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
Farmers have welcomed the new producer prices announced by Government, but urged the State to control the cost of inputs to enable them to break even. Government on Tuesday announced new producer prices for various crops for the 2019-2020 farming season reflective of the current economic situation. Cabinet approved the proposal by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to review the producer prices for maize, small grains, wheat, soyabeans and cotton as follows, maize and small grains, $726 per tonne, wheat $1 089,68, soyabean $918 and cotton $1 950 per tonne.

The farmers said the producer prices were reasonable, but will be eroded if the prices of inputs such as seed, fertilisers and chemicals continued to rise.

Agri Masters Syndicate chairman Mr Garikai Msika applauded Government for increasing producer prices and said the real issue was on addressing the stability of prices of inputs.

“The real issue is whether the farmer is able to go back to the field if the costs of production keeps increasing,” he said.

“In our business as farmers; we do not plant and harvest tomorrow, but after some months. We need stability. To achieve stability, we should unite; Government, industry and all stakeholders involved up to the consumer.”

Zimbabwe Indigenous Women Farmers’ Association Trust president Mrs Depinah Nkomo said farmers will be motivated to produce more by the new producer prices.

“The old cereal producer price of $390 per tonne was no longer viable,” she said. “Our fear is that input suppliers will also increase the prices of their commodities and this will defeat the whole purpose.”

Zimbabwe National Farmers’ Union chief executive Mr Edward Dune felt the new producer prices fell far short of farmers’ expectations.

“Prices of all inputs have gone up by four to five times as is obtaining with the exchange rate and naturally this is what should be obtained as regards commodity prices,” he said.

“It is impossible to contemplate how we are going to recapitalise or maintain agricultural sustainability. It will be difficult to retool.”

Mr Dune said the union was going to lobby for another price adjustment. Goromonzi farmer Mr Boniface Chitate said the local prices were high, but were being eroded by high production costs.