Farmers lament high cost of inputs

November 18, 2021

RYAN CHIGOCHE

 

Local farmers  have expressed concern over the current high prices of inputs arguing for the government to address the situation.

A snap survey conducted by Business Times this week showed that the price of ammonium nitrate  shot to ZWL$5500 per 50kg from ZWL$4700  in September this year.

The price of compound D , which was pegged at ZWL$3200  in 2020 is now selling at ZWL$5 210.

The prices of seed have also increased with 50 000 kennels bag costing between ZWL$8 800 and ZWL$13 000 while 25 kilogramme bags are ranging between ZWL$12 000 and ZWL$18 000.

“The increasing price of inputs is very worrisome on the part of the farmers. We continue to see this happening across all items on the open market. The resultant effect of this is that production costs will go up against depressed markets. Farmers’ margins will be eroded thereby rendering agriculture unprofitable,” the  Zimbabwe Farmers Union executive director, Paul Zakariya told Business Times.

He implored inputs suppliers  to engage the farmers to map a way forward and also the monetary authorities to make sure the value of the local currency is preserved.

“Inputs suppliers need to work together with the farming community to find a lasting solution to this problem,’’ said Zakariya

He added: ‘’Monetary authorities will, of necessity, need to contain exchange rate problems currently destabilising the local currency. Currency manipulation is also causing unnecessary challenges to the economy.”

The Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president, Shadreck Makombe, echoed Zakaria sentiments. “The prices of inputs are escalating,  going higher day by day. It is so difficult for farmers to prepare and go back to the field.

Therefore we are appealing to authorities to intervene. There should be some way in order to curb these increases.If possible even a subsidy can be of much help because farmers are hard hit. Farmers are currently in a dilemma because of the high input prices,” Makombe said.

 

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