Farmers hail Government’s grain incentive

Staff Reporter

Farmers across the country have applauded the Government for coming up with an incentive to encourage farmers to deliver their grain to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots.

The US$90.00 incentive is over and above the ZW$75 000 a tonne producer price that was recently gazetted by the Government.

Mr Enock Mwepu of Saimona Farm in Bindura said that the US dollar incentive would help address some of the farmers’ challenges such as the purchase of inputs.

“The US$90.00 is a welcome initiative. This would surely encourage farmers to deliver their grain to the GMB depots as they would want that US$ component to purchase inputs. However, going forward, we urge Government to consider pegging the maize producer prices 100 percent in foreign currency,” said Mr Mwepu.

Another Mt Darwin based farmer, Lloyd Kashangura, said that the incentive was a welcome development and he urged the Government to consider subsidising inputs to insulate farmers from exorbitant input prices being charged by local suppliers.

“The US$90.00 added to the ZW$75 000 per tonne is not a bad price. However, we urge the Government to consider subsidising inputs so that it becomes a win-win situation. The Government should also expand the Command Agriculture and Presidential Input Scheme so that it benefits more farmers,” said Kashangura.

Mrs Tracy Mudita of Mvurwi said that Government had listened to the pleas of farmers by introducing the US dollar incentive for early delivery of grain.

“This shows that we have a listening Government. The introduction of US$90.00 per tonne incentive is a reflection of the Government’s sensitivity to our plights as farmers.  This is something we acknowledge and appreciate because it is a step in the right direction. As farmers, we obviously expect more but currently we welcome the incentive,” said Mrs Mudita.

Meanwhile, the US dollar incentive would run from the commencement of the marketing season to the end of July this year. Farmers who delivered their grains before the announcement of the incentive would not be prejudiced as the incentive would be backdated to 1 April this year.