By Elita Chikwati
The seed industry is expecting 39 000 tonnes of certified maize seed on the market as preparations for the 2019/20 summer cropping season take off.
Farmers usually require between 35 000 and 40 000 tonnes of maize seed, but this may vary depending on demand.
Zimbabwe Seed Traders Association president, Mr Amon Mwashaireni said last season’s maize seed production was affected by the El Nino-induced drought.
“The seed industry is expecting about 39 000 tonnes of certified maize seed, 9 900 tonnes of soyabean seed, 1 900 tonnes of small grain seed, 1 700 tonnes of sugarbean seed and 950 tonnes of cowpeas seed.
“Some farmers are, however, still shelling their maize. Most of this seed has not been delivered by our contracted farmers. We are also not yet certain if the Grain Marketing Board depots are holding onto some seed quantities from last season’s Government input programmes,” he said.
Mr Mwashaireni expressed concern that the industry was faced with a challenge after Government pegged the producer price in foreign currency to cushion farmers from escalating prices.
“After Government pegged producer prices for maize grain at US$242 per tonne equivalent to RTGS$ at the prevailing interbank exchange rate, all the seed farmers are doing the same for all seed crops citing that by doing this, they will retain the value of their money even if inflation goes up.”
Source : The Herald