Millers set maize price at $335 per ton

Source: Millers set maize price at $335 per ton | The Herald May 13, 2016

Conrad Mwanawashe : Business Reporter

“At its last meeting, the millers and grain traders agreed to buy local maize at prices circa $335,00 per metric tonne.” PRIVATE grain traders and millers have set the price of maize at $335,00 per metric tonne, The Herald Business has learnt. The private milling sector, reeling under pressure from cheap mealie-meal inputs said the new price would ensure stability in the pricing of grain related products.Although the price is lower than Government’s $390 per tonne, millers expect to mop up local maize owing to their huge capital outlay compared to the State-owned Grain Marketing Board.

“At its last meeting, the millers and grain traders agreed to buy local maize at prices circa $335,00 per metric tonne,” the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe said.

“This price is viable to the farmers and will ensure that prices of maize meal and stock feed remain stable and do not create unnecessary inflationary pressures,” GMAZ said.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development responsible for Livestock Paddy Zhanda recently said the country was faced with the challenge of food deficit due to the decline in yields.

He said productivity per unit area had gone down to 0,8 tonnes per hectare from around 2,2 tonnes per hectare during the past years.

Deputy Minister Zhanda said the $390 that Government is offering is a heavily subsidised price to give an incentive to produce more maize.

“The price we are giving to farmers is one of the highest prices in the region to cushion our farmers. It is an incentive for farmers to produce enough maize,” said Deputy Minister Zhanda.

But because of the low yields Government has had to import maize to alleviate shortages.

The private sector players have also drawn up a comprehensive importation programme for maize.

Grain traders and millers expect to buy local maize and will import upwards of 700 000 tonnes of maize from Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa in order to assist Government to alleviate food shortages due to the drought the country is going through.