Zimbabwe: Farmers Decry High Seed Cost
BULAWAYO peri-urban farmers have decried the exorbitant prices of maize seed and fertilizer.
The rains which fall in the city Wednesday have stampeded farmers into buying farming inputs.
Due to the economic hardships experiencing many Zimbabweans, urban farming has become a common practice.
A survey conducted by NewZimbabwe.com in some farming inputs selling shops revealed that the price of seed maize and fertilizer has gone up sharply.
A 50 kg bag of seed maize is going for US$90 while a 50 kg bag of fertilizer is selling for US$30.
“I came to town this morning with the intention of buying seed maize, but I cannot afford the prices which the shops are charging. I would rather use untreated seed than fork out US$ 30 for a 10kg bag,” Vincent Moyo from Nkulumane high density suburb said
Another urban farmer Charity Nkomo noted that it is now cheaper to import the seed from South Africa through Omalayitsha than to buy from local shops.
“A 5kg bag in South Africa only cost 150 Rands while here the same bag cost four times depending on the grade. So I would rather buy from South Africa than buying in local shops,” said Nkomo.
Some unscrupulous vendors are now taking advantage of the high prices by selling cheap fake maize seed outside the maize seed selling shops.
The government this year has promised to extend its Intwasa/Pfumvudza farming input programme to urban farmers. The farmers said they have not yet received the inputs.