dr joseph made 08.09.10.jpgGovernment has pegged this season’s winter wheat producer price at US$466 per metric tonne with effect from the 1st of August.

 

This development comes at a time when some farmers have just started harvesting the winter wheat crop amid concerns by stakeholders over the low hectarage planted this season.

 

 

Announcing the wheat producer price at a news conference in Harare, the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr Joseph Made said the price of US$466 per metric tonne is with effect from the 1st of August.

 

“Cabinet has approved a new producer price of wheat which GMB will be the sole buyer and it takes effect from the 1st of August. We reached the price after seriously considering challenges that farmers encounter,” said Dr Made.

 

Turning to the issue of the forthcoming farming season, Dr Made said government has extended US$30 million for the seed and fertiliser industry.

 

Dr Made noted that the fertiliser industry has failed to meet the demand of the 2010-11 cropping season as 600 000 metric tonnes of fertiliser are needed.

 

Presently, there is only 85 000 tonnes of fertiliser on the market, 13 000 of which is in GMB’s depots.

 

“We cannot operate that way, they assured us that they will meet the demand through exports but they indicated that the remainder will be in the country by 31st of December which is wrong,” Dr Made added.

 

Farmers only managed to put a mere 10 000 hectares of winter wheat crop out of a possible 70 000 hectares owing to a number of challenges that farmers encountered before the season, chief among these being lack of financial support and availability of cheap inputs.