winter wheat.jpgFarmers’ unions have expressed concern over delays in the announcement of the price of wheat, saying this has negatively affected the marketing of the crop.

Wheat farmers have been eagerly awaiting the announcement of a winter wheat price from the GMB since the winter marketing season commenced on the 1st of September.

However, two months down the line, a price is yet to be set by the Grain Marketing Board, a situation that has resulted in prices falling far below import parity.

Zimbabwe Commercial Framers Union (ZCFU) Acting Director, Mr Peter Gambara said farmers in his organisation engaged the GMB two weeks ago.

“Since 2009 when the government liberalised the marketing of grain, the GMB usually is supposed to provide the price of grains but they have not yet done that on this season’s wheat. We have engaged them and they have indicated that it is government, which is supposed to announce,” said Mr Gambara.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) Second Vice President, Mr Berean Mukwende said several farmers have finished harvesting but are holding on to their crop waiting for the announcement of a producer price.

“Wheat harvesting is complete and farmers are eagerly awaiting the producer price, which we expect to be around US$500 per tonne,” said Mr Mukwende.

This year farmers planted about 6000 hectares of the crop against a target of 40 000 to 45 000 hectares due to poor planning which was characterised by lack of inputs and unreliable power supplies.