New Zimbabwe.com

Matanuska stops banana exports to South Africa as Rand continues to fall

CHIPINGE: The decline of South African rand against over world`s major currencies has forced the major banana producer Matanuska Private Limited to stop exports to the neighbouring the country.
Matanuska operates banana plantations in Burma Valley and is into contract farming with small-holder farmers in areas such as Mutema in Chipinge and Honde Valley where they are providing funding and expertise.
Project manager, Johannes Makurumidze, said Matanuska has stopped banana exports to South Africa because of the shrinking of the rand.
He said the market price of bananas has effectively plunged from $0,23cents to $0,13cents per kg.
“This has also impacted on our revenue inflow as a company,” he said.
“We are no longer exporting bananas to South Africa because of the deflation of the South African rand.
“The price of bananas has declined because rand value is declining. We are finding it difficult to sell bananas there.”
He said the local market is also shrinking due to the severe liquidity crunch being experienced in the country.
Out grower banana farmers said the price which is being offered by Matanuska was not sustainable or viable.
Chibuwe out-growers spokesperson, Artwell Bandama, said farmers were now breaching contracts because of the low revenue they are receiving after selling bananas to Matanuska.
“The new prices being offered by Matanuska make it difficult for farmers top settle loans they borrowed from CABS. We are now breaching contracts with Matanuska because of low prices that they are offering us.
“We are now doing side marketing of bananas as a protest to low prices. We want a win-win situation because the economy is not performing well and it’s affecting everyone,” said Bandama.
Makurumidze said the company is exploring cost-cutting strategies which will lessen the burden for the farmers.Advertisement