HARARE, September 21 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s maize producer price of $390 per tonne is too high and makes agriculture based commodities uncompetitive for export, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development deputy Minister responsible for Livestock Paddy Zhanda said on Thursday.
“The price of maize of $390 per tonne has a negative impact on the total value chain particularly on the cost of production. In other countries maize prices are lower than that- Zambia is $150, South Africa the same, Brazil $135 to $140,” Zhanda said addressing a beef industry meeting on Thursday.
“So there is no way that we can be able to be competitive in the export market producing goods based on hard currency US dollars and with that kind of pricing for stock feeds which are made from maize.”
Zimbabwe is expecting to harvest more than two million tonnes of grain, which is more than enough to meet the country’s demand estimated at 1.8 million tonnes.
Currently, an estimated one million tonnes of grain has been delivered at GMB.
Zhanda said he is against Government subsidies to farmers.
“I don’t believe in subsidising at the beginning of the value chain because that system is subject to corruption ….”