fertilizer.jpgFarmers in the periphery of Harare say there is need for government to control the pricing regime of farming inputs so that the agricultural sector can retain its viable.

While beneficiaries of the land reform programme are committed to ensuring food security in the country, they are facing a major challenge of the high costs of inputs critical in making farming a viable business

 

The farmers say like the trend worldwide in which the agricultural sector is heavily subsidized, government should ensure that inputs are affordable to reduce conflict on the producer prices of the crops.

 

One of the farmers, Mr. Tonderai Mudambu said fuel which is a crucial requirement in farming is still expensive in the country compared to other countries in the region and this raises production costs.

 

“Production costs in this country remain high as we are buying a litre of diesel at about US$1,25 to US$1,30,” said Mr. Mudambu.

 

Another farmer Cde Justice Zvandasara said the high costs of inputs and the set producer prices will always cause problems between farmers and the government as farmers will certainly fail to break even.

 

“Producer prices are not very fair as the inputs have remained expensive in this country.

 

“If government comes up with an input support programme then we will go back to the fields,” added Cde Zvandasara.

 

Cde Jason Pasadi said there is need to increase subsidised inputs to enable some farmers who are not yet established to maximize productivity.

 

An unsubsidised bag of ammonium nitrate costs US$27 while a subsidised bag has been increased from US$7 to US$15.

 

A 25 kg bag of seed maize is priced at US$50 an amount which is beyond the reach of many.

 

Analysts say there is need for government to adopt a deliberate policy of monitoring prices of critical inputs if the country is to achieve national food security.