Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe government sharply increases crop prices

Harare, Zimbabwe (PANA) - In a move intended to woo farmers to sell grain on the official market and stem illegal exports, the Zimbabwe government Wednesday sharply increased prices for food crops.
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said the price for the staple maize food had been increased from ZWD 28,000 (about US$34) a tonne to ZWD 130,000 per tonne in the marketing season beginning next month.

The price for wheat, another staple food in the southern African country, was increased from ZWD 70,000 a tonne to ZWD 150 000.

Made said the crop price increases for farmers was intended to ensure growers' viability, and to curtail a growing black market trade in grain which has exacerbated food shortages in the country largely caused by drought.

"Growers need to receive good prices. This will encourage farmers to sell their grain to the GMB [state-run procurer Grain Marketing Board]," he said.

He said the government, however, would maintain current subsidised food prices to cushion the people.

The government, through the GMB has a monopoly in food procurement in the country, but most farmers skirt the official market due to low prices.

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