By XOLISANI NCUBE
Cabinet has doubled the producer price of maize from ZWL$726 to ZWL$1 400 per tonne to cushion farmers in line with the current interbank rate of ZWL$5,5 to the US$. This came as the local currency continues to lose value against the United States dollar both on the interbank and parallel market.
Addressing a post-Cabinet media briefing in Harare yesterday, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the new producer price is equivalent to US$242 per tonne.
“In this case, therefore, the maize producer floor price is thus reviewed upward from the current RTGS$726 to RTGS$1 400 per metric tonne based on the interbank market rate of US$1:ZWL$5,5. The review of the maize producer price does not translate into an upward adjustment in the retail price of mealie-meal since GMB (Grain Marketing Board) sells the maize to millers at a government subsidised price,” she said.
Acting Agriculture minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said GMB had settled dues to all farmers who delivered their maize last season and funds were now available to pay for fresh deliveries.
Cabinet also approved a proposal from Mines minister Winston Chitando to establish gold centres to be operational by October 1, 2019.
According to Chitando, the gold centres would be for buying gold at various sites with Fidelity Printers and Refineries providing initial capital to these centres.
Mutsvangwa also announced that Cabinet also approved a proposal by Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo to establish a foreign service training institute.
The institute will train professional foreign service corps capable of articulating and executing Zimbabwe’s foreign policy.
Cabinet also approved the Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy, which seeks to promote beneficiation and value addition.
“The policy aims to attain the following, a manufacturing sector annual growth rate of at least 2% per annum, a 30% contribution to the annual gross domestic savings and a manufacturing value addition of 16% per year,” Mutsvangwa said.
The current contribution of the manufacturing sector to gross domestic product stands as 10%, according to Industry minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu.