Farmer unions have urged the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to ensure maize growers are paid early this season following announcement of the producer price last week.

Farmer unions have welcomed the recent pronouncement by the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development that the GMB will continue buying maize at US$390 per tonne as in the past two years.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union (ZCFU) executive director Mr Jeremiah Tevera said the price allows maize farmers to remain viable highlighting that GMB has to mobilise funds to pay early for grain deliveries.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) executive director Mr Paul Zakariya also welcomed the maize producer price but stressed the need for farmers to increase yields in order to end reliance on pricing.

The GMB is currently paying farmers within 14 days marking a significant improvement from the delays experienced in previous years.

A bumper maize harvest is expected this season after government invested close to a billion dollars to finance grain production under the command farming programme and the Presidential Inputs Scheme.