AMA floats $50m agro-bills

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

THE Agri­cul­tural Mar­ket­ing Au­thor­ity yes­ter­day launched a bid to raise $50 mil­lion in agro-bills to pro­cure grain in a bid to off­set a food deficit.

An El Nino-in­duced drought has hit Zim­babwe hard, and left about four mil­lion peo­ple in need of food aid. Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa last week said in the MidTerm Fis­cal Re­view, that the coun­try has eight months’ sup­ply of maize.

Maize out­put for the 2015/2016 farm­ing sea­son is ex­pected to reach 511,000 tonnes against the coun­try’s de­mand of 2,2 mil­lion tonnes.

Chi­na­masa said state grain re­serve, the Grain Mar­ket­ing Board (GMB) has 273,000 tonnes of maize and the gov­ern­ment has part­nered with pri­vate sec­tor to im­port the 1,7 mil­lion tonnes deficit.

“The Agri­cul­tural Mar­ket­ing Au­thor­ity in­tends to is­sue AMA Bills of up to $50 mil­lion to fi­nance the pur­chase of grain through the Grain Mar­ket­ing Board,” said the Agri­cul­tural Mar­ket­ing Au­thor­ity in a state­ment on Thurs­day.

The bills, which are be­ing raised via CBZ Bank, have a tenor of 360 days at an in­ter­est rate of 8,5 per­cent per an­num.

Zim­babwe’s gov­ern­ment, which is strug­gling for cash, has re­sorted to is­su­ing debt to for some key ex­pen­di­ture.

In Jan­uary, CBZ floated an­other $50 mil­lion grain bill is­sue, which the gov­ern­ment man­aged to pay off in cash upon ma­tu­rity at the end of June. — The Source

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