RWANDA – Maize farmers in Rwanda have welcomed new maize prices for season A, 2024 set by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM), saying they stand to get profits from their investments upon sales amid increased cost of production.

According to a communique issued by MINICOM, on January 19, a kilogram of maize grain (threshed) must be bought at a minimum of Rwf400 (US$0.31) from a farmer, while that of maize grains still on cobs must be at least Rwf311 (US$0.24).

The set prices, the statement noted, were based on resolutions of an earlier meeting that convened officials from MINICOM, the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Rwanda Agriculture Board, farmers’ representatives, maize processing factories, and major maize buying firms.

The new prices apply for maize produce for season A of the 2024 farming year – which runs from September 2023 through February 2024.

The new prices are higher than Rwf323 (US$0.25) a kilo for threshed grains, and Rwf309 (US$0.24) for maize cobs in the farming season A of 2023 – with which the new prices are being compared, the Director of Domestic Trade at MINICOM, Cassien Karangwa noted.

Speaking to The New Times, Evariste Tugirinshuti, the president of the National Federation of Maize Farmers’ Cooperatives, said the new prices are higher than the previous ones representing an increase of Rwf77 per kilo.

He revealed that the main factors that were considered were the investments made by a farmer and the profit they could get from their produce.

Meanwhile, different from the past when the purchase of maize cobs would result in deducting 23 percent of the quantity a farmer was selling to buyers, the new price prohibits such a practice.

Instead, MINICOM’s statement instructs buyers to pay a specific price that factors in the inedible part of a maize cob that should not be paid for.

Karangwa told The New Times that the decision was informed by farmers’ appeal.

According to the Seasonal Agricultural Survey 2023 annual report by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), more than 508,000 tonnes of maize were produced in the 2023 farming year.

This is almost 11 percent higher than over 458,500 tonnes of maize produced in 2022, as per the 2022 survey by NISR.

For season A, 2024, agriculture experts have predicted that maize production will be higher than that of the same season in the previous year.

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