Govt leaves maize prices flat at $390 per tonne

Govt leaves maize prices flat at $390 per tonne

HARARE, February 22 (The Source) – Government has pegged the prices of maize and small grains at $390 per metric tonne, same as last year, the Minister of Agriculture Joseph Made told Parliament on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe, a former regional breadbasket turned perennial food importer, has planted 1.2 million hectares of the staple maize in the 2016/17 farming season, with the country receiving above normal rains.

Although the government has said it is too early to project output, the central bank has projected output between 1.5 million tonnes and 1.8 million tonnes, enough to meet the country’s annual consumption requirements.

However, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation, more than a tenth of Zimbabwe’s current maize crop is under threat from a fall armyworm infestation that has affected at least seven countries in the southern African region.

Made also said the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) will buy all small grains like millet, rapoko and sorghum at the same price as that of maize.

In 2015/16, GMB set maize price at $390 per tonne while private millers and grain traders set the price at $335 per metric tonne.