Home » Industry » Millers Vow to Defy Government Directive On Maize Prices

THE Grain Millers Association (GMAZ) has resolved to disregard the recently gazetted producer price of maize, insisting the new price is not viable and unrealistic.

GMAZ members convened an emergency meeting in Bulawayo on Tuesday and made a number of resolutions concerning the issue.

Addressing journalists soon after emerging from the closed door meeting, GMAZ national chairperson Tafadzwa Musarara said most millers are on the verge of collapse because they cannot afford to pay the new prices.

“Government needs to revisit this policy. Millers are struggling and there is no way they can afford to pay farmers $390 for a ton of maize. The price does not make any sense at all. It will squeeze the few remaining millers out of business, rendering scores of workers unemployed in the process.

According to Musarara, the industry employs a total of 7 200 workers.

The GMAZ chairperson said members at Tuesday meeting resolved to buy maize for a price of $140 to $200 per ton, depending on the grade.

However, Musarara said his association is going to continue engaging the government over the issue as well as lobbying the Competition and Tariff Commission on what he described as unfair competition from the state financed Grain Marketing Board (GMB).

The GMAZ boss also lamented the importation of cheap and poor quality maize and mealie-meal from neighboring countries which he also said had affected their businesses.

“Millers are part of a very big grain value chain .The sector supports the livestock industry as well as the packaging industries .These brands of cheap maize meal from South Africa have killed these sectors because we no longer have raw material to produce stock feed,” he said.

The government last month pegged the maize producer price for the 2014 to 2015 marketing season at $390 per ton, up from last season’s $385.

Source : New Zimbabwe