Nesia Mhaka Herald Reporter
Farmers have welcomed the new maize producer price announced by Cabinet and have urged the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to process their payments promptly to facilitate proper preparation for next season.
Cabinet recently reviewed the producer price of maize to $1 400 per tonne.
The GMB is normally supposed to process payments within seven to 14 days from the date of sale, but due to financial constraints, among other reasons, there have been delays in some payments.
Zimbabwe Commercials Farmers Union (ZCFU) president Mr Wonder Chabikwa acknowledged that the producer price review was a huge improvement.
“The price is competitive in the region, however, looking at it from cost perspective, a higher price would have been most welcome,” said Mr Chabikwa.
“We welcome the producer price. What is now left is for GMB to make prompt payments because farmers need to buy inputs for the forthcoming summer cropping season.”
Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) executive director Mr Paul Zakariya said there were mixed sentiments among their members on the new producer price, with some of them of the view that the producer price has been reduced to US$240 from US$390.
“Some farmers are comparing the price in US dollars to what they were being paid last year, which was US$390, which resulted in there being a reduction,” he said.
However, the good thing is there has been a consideration by the Government to pay for the maize in US terms as opposed to the previous season where farmers were paid using RTGS.”
Mr Zakariya called for swift payment to maize producers.
“GMB must be prepared by now and have the resources to pay because this is cash market, so farmers expect to be paid promptly,” he said.
GMB public relations manager Mr Joseph Katete said they were doing everything possible to ensure swift payment for the farmers.