Sugarcane farmers say prices of fertilizer and herbicides remain beyond the reach of many farmers.

Despite a slight decrease in prices of fertilizer, sugarcane farmers say the current charges are exorbitant and the situation has been worsened by suppliers of spare parts for machinery and implements who are demanding for payment in foreign currency.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Commercial Sugarcane Farmers Association of Zimbabwe (CSFZ)’s annual general meeting in Chiredzi, the association’s chairman, Mr Edmore Hwarare said they have made significant strides in ensuring increased productivity, however the recent price hikes on fertiliser and herbicides is affecting many.

“We have made significant strides in negotiating for prices of our sugar and we are happy to announce that we won that. However, as farmers we have not been spared by the current economic situation especially on the issue of pricing for our inputs, herbicides and spare parts,” he said.

Chiredzi Assistant District Administrator, Ms Memory Dhliwayo said it is important for farmers to invest in their land for increased productivity and for them to seriously consider the welfare of their workers by ensuring that they provide decent accommodation and proper sanitation.

Before the wave of price increases, the average price of a 50 kg bag of ammonium nitrate was $28 and currently, many fertilizer outlets are charging between $50 and $60.