Input manufacturers have started disbursing inputs in retail outlets for easy access by farmers. A visit by the Herald to outlets in Harare showed that farmers have started buying seed and fertilisers although the volumes are still low. The prices for the commodities have not changed this season although a few varieties had their prices reviewed upwards or downwards.
Pioneer Zimbabwe representative, Ms Haruperi Gotosa, said seed was distributed in outlets around the country in July.
She said most farmers bought the seed for green mealies. "Sales have begun and we expect them to peak as the rainfall season starts," she said.
Seed-Co sales representative, Mr Irvine Zarura, said farmers were coming to buy while others inquired on prices.
"We are assisting farmers to choose the correct variety suitable for their specific agro-ecological regions," he said.
Mr Zarura said farmers were also being advised on the fertiliser application depending with the intended yields. Pannar representative Mr Kanaja Muhowa said most farmers were buying maize and soya-beans.
"We also have small packs of seed which is ideal for urban farmers and those who have small portions of land," he said.
There have not been notable changes in the prices of seed maize and fertiliser.
Seed maize is selling at prices ranging from US$21 to US$47 per 10kg bag depending with the variety while fertiliser is ranging from US$32 to US$40 per 50kg bag depending with the components. Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union vice president Mr Johnson Mapira said farmers had started preparing for the summer cropping season with most of them relying on own funding.
"The inputs prices are stable and we are satisfied with the state of preparedness," he said.
Mr Mapira, however, raised concern over the late payment of farmers by the Grain Marketing Board. "GMB should pay farmers in time so that they can buy their inputs early to avoid late planting," Mr Mapira said.