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39 000 Tonnes Of Certified Maize Seed Expected

4 years agoFri, 19 Jul 2019 01:30:09 GMT
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39 000 Tonnes Of Certified Maize Seed Expected

The Zimbabwe Seed Traders Association president, Mr Amon Mwashaireni, has said that the seed industry is expecting 39 000 tonnes of certified maize seed on the market. This comes at a time when the industry prepares for the 2019/20 summer cropping season take off.

Depending on demand, farmers usually require between 35 000 and 40 000 tonnes of maize seed. Mwashaireni said that last season’s maize seed production was affected by the El Nino-induced drought. He said:

The seed industry is expecting about 39 000 tonnes of certified maize seed, 9 900 tonnes of soya bean seed, 1 900 tonnes of small grain seed, 1 700 tonnes of sugar bean seed and 950 tonnes of cowpeas seed.

Some farmers are, however, still shelling their maize. Most of this seed has not been delivered by our contracted farmers. We are also not yet certain if the Grain Marketing Board depots are holding onto some seed quantities from last season’s Government input programmes.

Mwashaireni also revealed that the government’s decision to peg the producer price in foreign currency to cushion farmers from escalating prices has created an unexpected challenge. He said:

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After Government pegged producer prices for maize grain at US$242 per tonne equivalent to RTGS$ at the prevailing interbank exchange rate, all the seed farmers are doing the same for all seed crops citing that by doing this, they will retain the value of their money even if inflation goes up.

Zimbabwe is currently facing severe starvation due to the El-Nino induced drought.

More: The Herald

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