Millers spend $1,4m on maize im­ports

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Oliver Kazunga

PRI­VATE millers have im­ported more than 400 000 tonnes of maize spend­ing about $1,4 mil­lion since the begin­ning of the year.

Re­spond­ing to writ­ten ques­tions from Busi­ness Chron­i­cle, the Grain Millers As­so­ci­a­tion of Zim­babwe (GMAZ) chair­man Mr Tafadzwa Musarara said they would con­tinue com­ple­ment­ing Gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts by en­sur­ing that their mem­bers con­tinue to im­port maize un­til the next har­vest pe­riod.

“We’ve im­ported more than 400 000 met­ric tonnes of maize at $340 a tonne since Jan­uary 2016 to date from var­i­ous coun­tries such as Mex­ico, Ukraine, Brazil and Zam­bia.

“We’re, how­ever, work­ing closely with the Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe in the repa­tri­a­tion of pay­ments to re­spec­tive sup­pli­ers.

“There’ll be enough maize stocks to pro­vide all con­sumers un­til the next har­vest pe­riod,” he said.

Pre­sent­ing the Mid-Term Fis­cal Pol­icy Re­view State­ment re­cently, Fi­nance and Economic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa in­di­cated that the coun­try has grain re­serves to last seven months as farm­ers con­tinue to de­liver maize to the Grain Mar­ket­ing Board (GMB) de­pots across the coun­try. He said the coun­try had 273 000 tonnes of maize in stock. “This is in­clu­sive of im­ports, which at an ex-GMB off-take rate of 35 000 tonnes per month rep­re­sents seven months of GMB sales.

In the last sea­son the coun­try ex­pe­ri­enced a se­vere drought, which af­fected crop pro­duc­tion.

In May 2015, the Gov­ern­ment an­nounced that the coun­try needs to im­port 700 000 tonnes un­til the 2016 har­vest sea­son.

How­ever, due to the El Nino in­duced drought, the coun­try will have to con­tinue im­port­ing maize to avert a food cri­sis.

To en­sure food se­cu­rity in light of the un­pre­dictable rain­fall sea­sons, the Gov­ern­ment was con­cen­trat­ing on mech­a­ni­sa­tion and ir­ri­ga­tion de­vel­op­ment.

The Gov­ern­ment has also launched the Tar­geted Com­mand Agri­cul­ture scheme as part of a raft of mea­sures to im­prove food se­cu­rity and re­duce grain im­ports.

Un­der the scheme, 2 000 farm­ers whose farms are near wa­ter bod­ies and each have the ca­pac­ity to put a min­i­mum of 200 hectares un­der maize, are set to get loans in the form of ir­ri­ga­tion equip­ment, in­puts, chem­i­cals and mech­a­nised equip­ment. — @okazunga

Mr Tafadzwa Musarara

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.