Govt increases soyabean price
GOVERNMENT has increased the price of soyabean from $610 to $780 per tonne to promote production of the crop and ensure national food security.
Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri (Retired), who announced the prices yesterday, said the price was arrived at after consultations with other relevant stakeholders.
“After consultations with various stakeholders Government pegged the price of soyabean at $780 per tonne.
“I hope the price will facilitate farmers to go back to the land and continue with their operations,” he said.
He said other buyers were free to offer their prices and even surpass the GMB price.
“We believe the price being offered by Government through GMB is reasonable and is likely to be the highest. Private buyers are, however, free to offer an even higher price,” he said.
Government has come up with initiatives to boost production of oil seed crops including soyabean, which include a lucrative price and also putting the crops under Command Agriculture starting in the 2018/ 19 season.
The move is also aimed at ensuring the processing industry has adequate raw materials to boost production capacity.
Soyabean production had declined from around 300 00 tonnes per tonne to 30 000 tonnes per year.
Vice President Chiwenga recently said crops such as soyabean, sunflower and cotton would be included under Command Agriculture starting next season.
“This time around soyabeans was produced by A2 farmers, but we would want our 1,8 million small-scale farmers to come to this programme and produce soyabeans. We are now generally agreed that our rural farmers and our A1 farmers will also be encouraged to grow the crops in suitable areas.
“Even if they produce an acre or half acre we have no problem with that as long as the crop is produced well. So if we collect all that, we will have excess of what we want,” he said.
Minister of Finance and Economic Development Patrick Chinamasa said Government was increasing the price of soyabean to address viability issues.
“Government will sell the soyabeans to oil expressors at import parity price. The price will be a cost to Government.
“This is a strategy to promote the production of soyabeans and we will put in place measures to ensure people do not import cheap soyabeans and deliver to the GMB,” he said.
Minister of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development, Mike Bimha said the high price was a deliberate measure to boost soyabeans production while Government considered other measures.