Maize producer prize hike imminent

HARARE - The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) and the Commercial Farmers Union have signed an agreement to increase the maize producer price and also ban imports of the staple food.

The intended ban of maize imports from neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Zambia and Malawi, which have all recorded bumper harvests, is meant to mop up grain withheld by farmers in Zimbabwe over poor producer prices.

A 10 kg pack of unrefined maize meal currently sells for an average of $5,80 while a refined pack goes for $8

The producer price of maize per tonne could increase by almost 50 percent.

Tafadzwa Musarara, president of GMAZ, the apex representative body of the milling industry in Zimbabwe, told the Daily News yesterday that the proposed increases in the prices of maize from $220 to $340 per tonne will go a long way in supporting the local maize producers who have been holding on to their produce in the face of stiff competition from cheap imports.

“The measures proposed include the reduction of maize and maize meal imports which are causing depression of maize prices to the current levels of $220 per tonne,” Musarara said.

“This will be done through the application of surtax application which will ensure that imports glut of maize meal is eliminated. Zimbabwe’s neighbours have recorded bumper harvest.

“Zambia has an excess of one million tonnes of maize, Malawi 0,6 million tonnes and South Africa has a staggering 3,8 million tonnes. The same bumper situation obtains in Tanzania and other Eastern African countries.”

The deal between farmers and unions could be a boon for the country’s agricultural sector.

Consumer watchdog, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ), said the agreement between farmers and millers spells doom for Zimbabweans, who are already struggling to make ends meet in a country with over 80 percent on the jobless heap.

But the millers say Zimbabwe should implement measures that will ensure it does not become a dumping ground for cheap imported maize.

“What this means is that Zimbabwe becomes the only market for Malawi, Zambia and South Africa with expected parity expected in two weeks to be at $220 per tonne,” Musarara said.

“Imported maize meal prices are likely to dip in the next three weeks to about $290 per tonne.

“This is not good for local maize agriculture.”

Musarara ruled out an increase in the price of maize meal, saying the price revision will produce a win-win situation.

“This provides the requisite solutions to protect and promote all players in the maize value chain,” he said.

“The players are farmers, millers, traders and consumers.

“If these measures are implemented, prices of maize meal will remain stable and offtake of local maize will increase, sales for seeds and other inputs will jump and farmers will be able to prepare adequately for the next farming season.”

Comments (11)

This is the problem, why do they want a hike, our prices are already distorted with our goods over priced becase of the zim dollar mentality now these farmers want tobacco prices on maize no government should think again, don't ban imports if we are to survve.

Maita Manyuka - 25 June 2014

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Pumps - 25 June 2014

You do not seem to understand...the surplus maize is being sold at dumping RSA maize is $390-$400/tonne and yet bcoz of surplus when selling to Zim they sell at $220-360/tonne...By eliminating cheap imports prices to local farmers can increase from the current lows of $220-$280 to $280-$340...Either way price for refined mealie meal should remain the same or even marginally decline since the millers eliminate import&transport costs

wezhira wezhara - 25 June 2014

Wezhira you missed it. Cost of producing a tonne maize in RSA half that for Zim. RSA grow GMO which is banned in Zim. However end importing the GMO they refuse farmers to grow. Banning growing GMO is the problem.

vakuru - 25 June 2014

It is a pity that instead of being competitive in the business of growing maize, we are resorting to the lazy way of just pushing the economic burden on the hapless consumer. This is the US dollar that we are using for crying out loud. A cursory glance at the prices of commodities will reveal that our prices are three times as much when compared with all the countries surrounding us. Is our pricing model inspired by the devil himself? I am left wondering. We have the dubious reputation of having the highest literacy rate on the African continent but sadly this does not translate into real- life issues that should help us live a better quality of life. God help us all out of this mess we find ourselves in.

Edward Mhanda Ncube - 25 June 2014

Wezhira wezhara wezheve,ndokuti skuru ka uko

Llolo - 26 June 2014

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This is a very commendable effort which promotes our local farmers and eases the liquidity crunch. I fail to understand what CCZ is not happy about, do they want us to support farmers from the region by buying their surplus maize and shun our own local farmers. Something is terribly wrong there.

Dr Know - 26 June 2014

Banning the importation of the stapple food is a good move that I strongly believe in. This will promote production by our local farmers. If the regional countries are allowed to dump their maize in Zimbabwe the millers will go for these cheap dumped maize to the detriment of our farmers. I think the move is good. Correct me if I am wrong.

Kuzz - 26 June 2014

Promoting our local farmers is the best move. We will serve on imports. We can't depend on other countries on things we can produce locally.

Chitondwe - 26 June 2014

I think the most important thin right now is to consider the effect the price changes will have on the already overburdened consumer. It matters not whether the maize is from Zim or elsewhere whats needed at end of the day is that there is sadza on the table. On another thought why do our farmers need to be protected when we are now living in a global village. Dont we have farmers in Zim who are competitive and innovative enough to challenge others on the global front. Are we not suppose to be also exporting our surplus. My fellow countrymen lets not hurt Zim further for the sake of chasing the bottom figure forgetting that others are going without food for days in a row. Its not what Zim can do for us which matters, its what we can do for Zim which should countat the end of the day.

Gilbert Chiota - 26 June 2014

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