BAD NEWS: Mnangagwa's govt hikes maize producer price

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THE Government has reviewed the maize producer price to ZWL$6 958 per tonne for the 2019-2020 marketing season. This was revealed by the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services during the fourth post-cabinet briefing for 2020 in Harare this Wednesday afternoon.

The move is expected to encourage deliveries to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) for the replenishment of the strategic grain reserve. Traditional grains will be pegged at ZWL$7 260 per metric tonne. Traditional grains include Sorghum, Millet and Rapoko.

Senator Mutsvangwa highlighted that there is a need to make use of the term traditional grains as the term “small grains” had colonial connotations.

“Traditional grains are what is being commonly referred to by the media as small grains which in essence is a term inherited from the colonial era when traditional grains had no significant role to play in the agricultural economy. Therefore the term ‘small grains’ should be discontinued and discouraged as we begin to promote traditional grains in the face of climate change and health challenges related to consumption of maize meal,” said the minister.

Minister Mutsvangwa also revealed that cabinet approved the maize, wheat and soya bean production recovery plan which is an extract of the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy that seeks to achieve over US$8 billion gross agriculture production value by 2023. The recovery plan is anchored on availing financial services to highly productive contract farmers, commodity value chain financing, climate proofed Presidential Input Support Scheme, pre-planting producer price announcement, creation of a lowveld maize belt, speeding up of irrigation development, capacitation of extension services delivery programme, innovation and modernisation of agriculture.

“Cabinet acknowledged that the Maize, Wheat and Soyabean Recovery Plan, if meticulously implemented, has the potential to reverse the dependence on imports for these crops as well as to mitigate the financial burden on Treasury and ultimately put the country on a trajectory to attain Vision 2030,” said Senator Mutsvangwa.

In October last year, the government increased the producer prices for maize and traditional grains namely sorghum, millet and rapoko to $4 000 up from $2 100.

— ZBC


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