|Maize producer price up|
|Thursday, 17 May 2012 00:00|
THE Grain Marketing Board floor price for maize has been increased from US$285 to US$295 per tonne. Cabinet approved the new floor price which has attracted mixed reactions from farmers. Announcing the new price yesterday, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made said it was effective from April 1, 2012.
He said farmers who have been delivering their maize as from that date were supposed to be paid the new price.
Although GMB has over the years offered the highest price for maize, farmers have tended to go for private buyers who offer less because they have instant cash and pick the maize from their plots.
Most farmers sell their crop hoping to immediately attend to their socio-economic concerns and therefore find it hard to wait for the GMB that usually takes long to pay.
Some dealers have taken advantage of GMB delays to pay desperate farmers between US$150 and US$180 per tonne.
They later resell the maize to GMB and millers at a profit.
Minister Made expressed hope that the GMB and other related institutions will be focused on receiving grain from farmers.
“This price is related to the fact that Ministry of Finance has undertaken to pay the amount within two weeks of delivery,” said Minister Made.
He complained that there were reports of some depot managers who were turning away farmers with grain not packaged in GMB bags.