Farmers threaten not to sell maize to GMB

via Farmers threaten not to sell maize to GMB – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 3, 2014 by Clayton Masekesa

Farmers in Manicaland have vowed to stop selling their maize to Grain Marketing Board (GMB) following the announcement of the new producer price which they described as meagre.

The government recently pegged the 2014-2015 maize producer price at $390 per tonne but most farmers said it was “a mockery”.

The farmers said they would rather sell their maize to private millers in and outside Zimbabwe where they would get better prices.

Private millers are offering between $450 and $500 per tonne depending on the quality of the maize.

Agriculture minister Joseph Made last week urged farmer to deliver their maize to GMB, saying they will be paid promptly.

Farmers said the price would impact negatively on their operations since some of them failed to access finance to fund their farming activities.

Angry farmers interviewed also threatened to scale down maize production next season, saying it was not viable.

“Government cannot expect farmers to produce when it is paying such poor prices. The production chain is hamstrung,” Peter Magosvongwe, an A2 farmer near Mutare, said.

“We do not work that way. We get a lower price than what the government pays to import maize.”

Some farmers said they lacked the negotiating power on the producer price.
“This means that we will get less money than that we invested in producing maize. I do not have any option but to look for better buyers.

Government should review this price,” another farmer, Moses Mufandaedza, said.

Titus Chiripanyanga, a farmer from Odzi, said the new producer price was not viable.

“Land preparation per hectare costs $100, plus two applications of herbicides come at a cost of $100. That farmer requires labour to weed and tender the crop,” Chiripanyanga said.

“The same farmer needs to hire a combine harvester at the cost of a tonne of maize per hectare and if you add these costs you will realize that one cannot make a profit at a price of $390 per tonne.”

He queried: “Why is it that maize farmers in Zimbabwe are always treated with contempt? If we talk of food security in Zimbabwe, we are talking of maize, which means the pricing model should be attractive.”

Made said that government took into consideration that a higher producer price would push the price of maize meal up and this compromised food and nutrition security at household level.”

Made, however, decried the high cost of fertiliser for pushing costs of production.

“I want to urge the Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Patrick Chinamasa) to engage fertiliser companies to come up with a viable pricing model when preparations for the next season commence,” Made said.


  • comment-avatar
    Tongoona 9 years ago

    Yes I agree with the farmers that they will not sell their maize to GMB. It is a question of common sense. GMB still owes farmers for 2007/2008 deliveries. Importing a ton of maize costs US$450 from SA. What justification is there to pay US$390 when GMB is importing a ton for $450.If GMB wants maize it must first of all clear its indebtedness to farmers for 2008 deliveries and secondly pay a realistic producer price for 2014. If it (GMB) continues to stick its head in the sand, it has itself to blame for the imminent insolvency pursuing it.

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      Tongoona my brother, farmers must be free to sell their wares where ever they choose. The Government will not let them for obvious reasons. They want to look good. It backfires all the time because the ones tasked with the duty of paying the farmers are thieves. When they steal nothing is done about it BECAUSE THEY HAVE RELATIVES IN THE GOVERNMENT.

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    David 9 years ago

    Could you imagine if it was white farmers talking like this, we’d be declared enemies of the state and thrown in jail. Once again you are dealing with a bunch of uneducated thieving shona’s at the helm, who are very envious of white folk and their productive ways. Whatever we touch in agriculture turns to gold, what a Shona touches turns to dirt!!!

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      Jenandebvu 9 years ago

      Don’t generalise, there many bad whites too, who failed to accept the meaning of democracy, negotiations with mugabe and displayed colonial traits of sabotage and inhumanity thereby pushing mugabe to the edge. At times I hate mugabe and unreasonable wwhites like u David; for the current situation Zimbabwe is sitting on.

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    Zimbabwe’s Look East policy a failed political posture. So true in the other article. Zimbabwe needs to look within its self. Let the proper farmers farm. Let the manufacturers manufacture. Let the reporters report. LET THE BANKERS BANK.Let the tourist tour. LET THE INVESTORS INVEST. Let the donors donate.let the Doctors heal patients. I DON’T KNOW WHAT MORE TO SAY.

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    Chaka 9 years ago

    Land was given to zpf members. It is a battle between gvt n zpf. Gvt has a record of not paying its creditors anyway. Maize prices r controlled by futures, the gvt shd hv bought this maize in Oct already

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    Mseyamwa 9 years ago

    Inga ‘maiti kutima inyore’ (you used to say farming is easy), Thomas Mapfumo sang way before they took over farms at no cost. If the former farmers could buy the farm and then do the farming and still realize a profit, what’s gone wrong now?

    The price of mealie meal should be realistic and viable for all involved. Workers must earn living wages that allow them to afford mealie meal at market rate. Stifling the producer will only dry up the supply.

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    John Thomas 9 years ago

    Looking at the available evidence it may be that the government prefers the country not to be self sufficient in grain. A peasantry always on the brink of hunger has served them well politically. They would not willingly give this away. The real agricultrual reform needed here has not been attempted

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    Don’t deliver and sell to the GMB! Don’t pay tax’s. Revolt!!!

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    former farmers used to produce more that enough, when we talk of maize production we need to consider hectrage. how many hectors do you have? you calculate fuel,labour,electricity,water supply..only these you can tell your profit . now the situation on our farms is this… the one on land is not a farmer he is politician,he stays ih harare he is doing political farming from harare.He again doesnt know irrigation and timing on when to sow his maize seed. he neglected the irrigation pipes that was being used by the former farmer they are corroding piled on the side of the workshop or shed.he now relies on rainfall for watering his crop.his yield is so poor and is not even enough for himself. now he wants some money he is trying to sell just one tonne to GMB where he is to face gov gazzeted prices which doesnt make him viable. check the trend you will realise this that i am making see.

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    Expat 9 years ago

    I agree that farmers should find the best price, however when these farmers say they can not make a profit from the price that has been proposed by GMB then there is something very wrong! If your are producing a decent average tonnage as any commercial Farmer should, as opposed to producing what is an acceptable tonnage for a communal Farmer (who has less access to the resources of a so called commercial farmer)it should be a simple task to make a profit!
    It seems that because of the compounded problems with marketing to the GMB built up from the past the farmers seem to find every excuse to complain about the GMB instead of outright saying they are not prepared to market there because of passed problems.

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    munzwa 9 years ago

    Steady on David!!!! These new farmers are finding out that this industry is not a short term en devour, the whole land issue has to be put to bed and zanu aint going to do it??? Too embarrassed…

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    Farmers – wake up to the real world – sell your maize to whoever pays you cash in the pocket !! – no need to debate it any more

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    Petal 9 years ago

    @HUTU what you could say more is tell the Idiot bufoons to step down because with them at the helm nothing will change!

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    @Petal These guys won’t step down. WE HAVE TO STEP THEM DOWN. How we do it ? We are working on it. To one of the brothers who said we should look at other website… the one you mention brother we do look at. Lots of snakes there.. Like the snake that wrote laws that took us 50 years back now trying to put us 2 years forward. Professor Moyo, we sit here and watch BROTHER.

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      Gondo Arishaya 9 years ago

      As a young boy (i am not white) i was raised on a white owned farm in the Chinoyi area as my father was managing this farm. So much was grown on this farm. There was loads of cattle sheep pigs and goats and every week a railway truck came to collect these animals for the Cold Storage Commission to slaughter.

      The issue i am trying to raise is that my father with his team of workers apart from other crops planted 2000 acres of maize and believe it or not averaged 31 bags an acre. That is 62000 bags of maize by one farmer (Now that is farming) What is the average on to days farms.if any one out there has the balls please let me know and we can see how good our current farmers are.

      In 1977 the Nicole brothers had over a Million dollars of up to date farming. equipment. I really wonder how much equipment is on these farms to day. Yomba estates was a dream to drive around with all the wheat. I remember them buying the first 8640 semi articulated John Deer tractor that was used for rip and roam the land. Took i think then eight smaller tractors of the land. Efficiency.

      Now GMB cant even pay the farmers for 6 bags of maize. Yes we have messed up big time

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    Petal 9 years ago

    The Greedy Messed Up Board!