he Zimbabwean government has reviewed the producer price of maize grain and introduced an incentive for early delivery to State grain procurers in an effort to boost farmer viability and the country’s Strategic Grain Reserves (SGR).
The new maize producer price is now pegged at 75,000 Zimbabwean dollars (234 U.S. dollars) per metric ton from 58,553 Zimbabwean dollars, plus a fixed early delivery incentive of 90 U.S. dollars per ton, acting Information Minister Jenfan Muswere said during a post-cabinet media briefing on Tuesday.
“The early delivery incentive, which will be extended to other crops such as traditional grains, sunflower and soybean, is payable to 31 July 2022, and applies to all deliveries made since the commencement of the marketing season,” he said.
The 2022/23 grains marketing season commenced on April 1, 2022, with 453,717 metric tonnes of maize having been carried over from the previous season as a Strategic Grain Reserve, he said.
Last month, the government announced that maize farmers will be paid 30 percent of the amount due on grain delivered in U.S. dollars and 70 percent in domestic Zimbabwe dollars as an incentive for farmers to deliver their grain to the country’s sole grain procurer, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
Zimbabwe’s maize harvest declined to 1.8 million tonnes in the 2021/22 season from 2.7 million tonnes produced in the 2020/2021 season due to erratic rainfall.
This year’s maize output is 400,000 tonnes short of the yearly national requirement of 2.2 million tonnes.
At the weekend, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the country has adequate maize to last until next year’s harvest, despite the decline in production this year owing to surplus grain from last year’s bumper harvest.
“Thankfully, our Strategic Grain Reserves hold 500,000 tonnes from the 202/21 season. That means we exceed our yearly national grain needs by some 100,000 tonnes, which we expect to remain in SGR until the next harvest. We thus are food secure,” Mnangagwa said.
He, however, emphasized the need for continuous intervention to boost farmer viability and production to meet national demand.
Muswere said Zimbabwe currently holds four months of supply of wheat in its stocks, with millers expected to import 9,000 tonnes of wheat per month to meet the country’s monthly requirement of 30,000 tonnes per month.