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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Planning prices for commodities unveiled

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

THE government has granted approval for private players with free funds to import maize duty-free to mitigate against the effects of drought in the forthcoming summer cropping season.

It emerged during the announcement of incentives planning prices for maize, traditional grains, and sunflower for the 2023/24 summer cropping season that a viable planning price will boost land utilisation against the prediction of an El Nino season which is set to be characterised by normal to below normal rainfall.

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr Anxious Masuka also announced the decision to allow private players to help in consolidating food security reserves by importing maize grain duty-free.

“The following will be implemented immediately, a 2023/ 24 season incentive planning price for maize at US$335,03 per metric tonne, importation of maize by private players will be allowed in view of the predicted El Nino, to build national stocks, mealie meal imports by households to continue, a 2023 /24 season incentive planning price for traditional grains of US$335,03 per metric tonne, a sunflower incentive planning price of US$654,37 per metric tonne and importation of soyabeans by private players to be allowed given the predicted El Nino, to build national stocks,” said Dr Masuka.

Measures to further increase production are high on the agenda.

“In assisting farmers to make informed decisions, the Government is announcing incentive planning prices. The planning pricing system being proposed is consistent with achieving both food and nutrition security and macro-economic stability,” added Dr Masuka.

The government is also prioritising irrigation and dam construction as key measures to climate-proof the agricultural sector.

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