Weekly cereal deliveries reach 20,000 t


the herald

Rumbidzayi Zinyuke –Senior Reporter

Deliveries to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) have increased in recent months to around 20,000 tonnes per week from a low of 1,500 tonnes, as the country strives to meet its objectives to ensure national food security.

This comes as the country already has enough grain reserves in stock from the previous season, while another good rainy season is predicted for the 2022/2023 agricultural season to ensure enough food in the future. .

Speaking at the post-Cabinet meeting yesterday, Minister for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa said maize stocks stood at 435,489 tonnes as of August 25 , while traditional grain stocks were 64,716 tonnes and wheat stocks were 62,793 tonnes.

“Wheat in the country provides three-month coverage at an allocation rate of 21,000 tonnes per month. It is reported that a total of 131,139 tonnes of grain was received by the Grain Marketing Board during the reporting period. Cumulative sales from April 1, 2022 amounted to ZW$17,673,139,070,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said a total of $6.82 billion and $6 million had been received for payments to farmers so far, with a total of $762,978,845.46 and $5,106,280 remaining due to farmers.

“The nation is advised that the country is expected to receive normal to above normal rainfall during the 2022/23 season. The nation will be continuously updated on the rainfall pattern as the season progresses,” she said.

Responding to questions on the measures put in place to ensure food security, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr Anxious Masuka, said deliveries of grain are expected to reach 300,000 tons by October.

“We expect deliveries to be made until the end of the season which will continue until October due to the late onset of the rains and also late season rains which have delayed.

“Here we are only talking about GMB deliveries, but in terms of government policy we are saying that 40% of what millers and other stakeholders use in the industry should be secured by value chain finance. or contract production. So we will update as we go,” he said.

However, parallel marketing continues to haunt the agricultural sector, a problem which the government has tried to address not only in the marketing of cereals, but also in the marketing of tobacco, cotton and other crops.

Minister Masuka said the agriculture and food systems transformation strategy is part of the government’s solution to shadow marketing.

“The strategy is anchored in the growth of the sector and financing based on the discipline of actors in the value chain, from farmers to buyers, so that contractual obligations are honored.

“If we do that, we will be able to grow the agricultural sector, but shadow marketing will disrupt that growth,” he said.

In response, the minister said the government has put in place a series of regulatory instruments to help stakeholders ensure that stakeholders meet their contractual obligations.

Meanwhile, farmers’ organizations encouraged their members to continue delivering their grain to GMB.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union Chairman Abdul Nyathi said farmers are already preparing for the 2022/2023 farming season.

“We continue to encourage our farmers to sell their maize to GMB because the government has raised the price of grain.

“It’s also the time of year when we prepare for next summer and urge our farmers to start preparing the land,” he said.

The president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union, Dr Shadreck Makombe, said most farmers now needed inputs, hence the pressure to deliver their grain.

“The increase in grain delivery has been necessitated by farmers who want to buy inputs for the next season. Farmers have to sell and earn money. Last season was not good for us and farmers need to prepare for next season,” he said.


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