Fidelis Munyoro Chief Reporter
Government has increased the maize producer price to $1 400 per tonne, from $726 to enable farmers to go back to the fields in the forthcoming summer cropping season, but immediately warned retailers against increasing the price of mealie-meal since the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) buying price remains unchanged.
Cabinet said the maize producer price of US$242 per tonne, be paid in RTGS dollars, but at the prevailing interbank market rate.
Addressing journalists during a post-Cabinet briefing yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said; Cabinet considered and approved that the GMB maize producer price of US$242 per metric tonne be payable to farmers in RTGS dollars based on the prevailing foreign currency interbank market rate.
“In this case, therefore, the maize producer price is thus reviewed upward from the current $726 to $1 400 per metric tonne based on the interbank market rate of US$1: $5,5.” However, Minister Mutsvangwa said the review of the maize producer price does not translate into an upward adjustment in the retail price of mealie meal since the GMB will continue to sell maize to millers at a subsidised price.
“Cabinet is appealing to business people not to increase prices as the GMB buying price has no impact on the selling price of mealie-meal,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
In April, Government approved the increase of maize producer to $726 and small grains, wheat, soya beans and cotton. Wheat prices were set at $1 089,69, soya bean ($918) and cotton ($1 950) per tonne. At the time, Government also approved a 38,5 percent subsidy on the selling price to millers to prevent increases in the retail prices.