The Government of Zimbabwe has moved a step up in incentivizing farmers to commit more land to strategic crops farming through pegging prices for the 2023/24 production season for grains in USD and permitting imports of grains with immediate effect ahead of an El Nino season.
Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development (MoLAFWRD) Minister Dr Anxious Masuka said this during the announcement of prices for grains at the ministry headquarters at Ngungunyana in Harare on September 12.
Dr Masuka said the pricing system was aimed at achieving food and nutrition security and macroeconomic stability.
“A viable incentive planning price will incentivize farmers to commit more land under the specific strategic crops. The planning pricing system being proposed is consistent with achieving both food and nutrition security and macroeconomic stability. This is against the prediction on an Eli Nino season,” said Dr Masuka.
He said the planning price for maize and traditional grains was pegged at USD335.03 per tonne and the average import parity price was US$ 331 per tonne.
“The recommended 2023 incentive planning price for maize and traditional grains is US$ 335 and average import parity price for maize is USD 331 per tonne while the recommended incentive planning price for sunflower for the 2023/24 season is USD654 per tonne,” said Dr Masuka.
The ministry has also allowed the private sector to import grains to build national stocks ahead of the predicted El Nino.
“The ministry will also implement immediately the importation of maize by private players be allowed in view of the predicted El Nino, to build national stocks, mealie meal imports by households to continue and importation of soyabeans by private players to be allowed in view of the predicated El Nino, to build national stocks,” he said
The Meteorological Services Department has predicted an El Nino which is likely to cause below average rainfall this farming season.