Maize farmers earn big as prices soar

MAIZE farmers are laughing all the way to bank as prices are rising despite increased supply from the onset of harvest season this year thanks to government initiatives to buy the crop at competitive prices.

‘Daily News’ survey in Morogoro, Mara and Dar es Salaam shows that maize prices have soared to between 800/- and 1,000/- per kilogramme in Morogoro and Dar es Salaam to the delight of farmers as the government offered them higher than prevailing market prices.

The prices of maize last season without the government directive were at around 400/- per kilo.

Last month the government announced National Food Reserve Agency would be buying the crop for between 800/- and 1,000/- per kilogramme.

The survey in Mvomero, Kilosa districts in Morogoro, Musoma in Mara and Dar es Salaam showed that the prices did not fall despite increased supply as the harvesting season began.

A farmer, Joseph Tumaini at Kibati Village in Mvomero Region in Morogoro said that the price of 100kg sack of maize hit 80,000/- up from 30,000/- fetched last season.

“They are sold at a high price and we expect it to raise even more as we have just started harvesting,” said Mr Tumaini.

He added that in Kibogoji village in Mvomero the price has risen compared to what is sold in Kibati where a sack of maize goes at 95,000/-.

Another farmer Seth Fortidas at Dumila in Kilosa District said that one sack of maize is selling for between 100,000/- and 126,000/-.

“This is a stunning price to be recorded as harvest season starts…signs are promising to us this season,” Mr Fortidas said.

Buyers at Nyakato in Musoma Township in Mara say they are buying a kilo of maize at 1,115/- equal to 111, 500/- a sack when farmers are harvesting compared to 300/- a kilo or 30,000/- per sack during the previous harvesting season.

At Pinda Street in Dodoma, buyers are buying at 900/- a kilo or 90,000/- a sack.

Tandale Market Chairman Juma Dikwa told ‘Daily News’ on Sunday that the price of maize has slightly gone down by 5.0 per cent to 950/- from 1000/- before farmers started to harvest maize.

The Minister for Agriculture Mr Hussein Bashe told farmers when wrapping up 2023/24 budget that the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA buys maize at 800/- per kilo in regional centres and 600/- per kilo in peripheral areas.

He said the indicative price for maize was 800/- per kilogramme, which translates to 80,000/- per bag in Sumbawanga, Mbeya, Njombe and 600/- per kilogramme in peripheral areas which translates to 60,000/-.

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