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Maize producer price to remain unchanged in year 2017
Maize seed waits on the conveyor belt in the seed processing plant at Bidasem, where it is being visually examined and manually sifted by workers, picking out material such as damaged or spoiled seed or pieces of cob. After initial cleaning and sorting, all seed that goes through the plant passes through quality control. If a sample from a batch is found to more have more than 2% impurities, they are either separated out by hand like this or using a gravity table. The batch is then resampled to ensure a clean bill of health to continue processing. Bidasem is a small seed company based in the central Mexican plains region known as the Bajío. It produces approximately 10,000 bags of maize seed a year, each holding 22.5kg, as well as producing wheat and oat seed and marketing seed of other crops. Despite their small size, Bidasem and similar companies play an important role in improving farmers’ livelihoods. “Our aim is to provide farmers with quality seed at accessible prices, that is adapted to the conditions we have here in the Bajío. It’s a great satisfaction, when farmers achieve the yields they need,” says director general María Esther Rivas. “Without CIMMYT, we couldn’t exist,” says Rivas. She sells four different maize hybrids, all formed from freely-available CIMMYT parent lines. “Really the most important thing is to produce your own hybrids, and for us it wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t have the germplasm from CIMMYT. What we’re currently producing is 100% CIMMYT.” The relationship between Bidasem and CIMMYT is now deepening through participation in the MasAgro initiative, which includes training courses for seed companies and collaborative trials to evaluate the best seed. Photo credit: X. Fonseca/CIMMYT. For more on seed production at Bidasem, and CIMMYT's role in providing the best seed, see CIMMYT's 2012 e-news story "The seed chain: producing better seed for small farmers," available online at:

Maize producer price to remain unchanged in year 2017 

AGRICULTURE, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made says the maize and small grains producer price for this year will remain unchanged at last year’s level of $390 per tonne.

Last year, the Government increased maize and small grain producer price from $335 a tonne.

Responding to questions in Parliament on Wednesday, Dr Made said:

“When we buy maize from the farmers, we will be buying small grains as well. The price will be the same as the previous season, which is $390 per tonne.”

He said it was important that every farmer selling his or her grain to GMB has a bank account.

“Once he (farmer) delivers his maize to GMB, his money is transferred into his account. We want also to open up satellite points that will enable farmers to access GMB than travel long distances to take their produce to GMB,” he said.

Dr Made said in preparation for the marketing season, the GMB was in the process of refurbishing its silos at depots across the country.

“On the concrete built silos, the GMB is in the process of ensuring that those silos do not have leakages and no moisture can affect the produce. There are machines that are there to ensure that the maize remains safe in those silos.

“So, the Government has taken action to ensure that those silos are well maintained,” he said.

The private sector, most of them millers who buy maize from GMB, Dr Made said, have indicated their interest in working with the marketing board in ensuring that the silos were adequately maintained.

Following the rains that the country has received this season, the Government was expecting a bumper harvest. Zimbabwe requires about 1,2 million tonnes of grain annually.

Over the years, the country has been experiencing successive droughts resulting in a serious food deficit that has seen the Government importing millions of tonnes of grain from countries such as South Africa, Zambia and Brazil.

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