Farm­ers de­liver 1,1m tonnes of maize to GMB

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

FARM­ERS have so far de­liv­ered 1,1 mil­lion tonnes of maize to the Strate­gic Grain Re­serves at the Grain Mar­ket­ing Board, an of­fi­cial has said.

Ad­dress­ing farm­ers dur­ing Zimbabwe Farm­ers’ Union (ZFU) con­fer­ence in Gweru last week, GMB deputy gen­eral man­ager (op­er­a­tions), Mr Lawrence Jasi said more maize was still ex­pected and the fig­ure will likely sur­pass last year’s 1,2 mil­lion de­liv­er­ies.

“I want to thank you farm­ers for bumper har­vests this year and last year. Let me con­grat­u­late you be­cause you have man­aged to avert hunger in the coun­try. Last year we re­ceived 1,2 mil­lion tonnes of maize and this year we have so far re­ceived 1,1 mil­lion tonnes and more maize is still to be de­liv­ered,” he said.

Mr Jasi said GMB had ad­e­quate stocks to sus­tain the coun­try un­til the next har­vest­ing pe­riod. He said the coun­try had an an­nual de­mand of close to 1,8 mil­lion tonnes an­nu­ally.

“We have ad­e­quate grain at the mo­ment con­sid­er­ing that farm­ers do not sell all their pro­duce to GMB par­tic­u­larly com­mu­nal farm­ers. As GMB we are putting up dri­ers in all prov­inces so that we deal will is­sues of mois­ture con­tent. We are not go­ing to ex­port any maize now that we have heard that there will be El Nino,” he said.

Mr Jasi said GMB was pay­ing farm­ers within two days of maize de­liv­ery at GMB af­ter se­cur­ing close to $75 mil­lion to pur­chase maize.

“The lat­est that we have paid was in two weeks and in most cases it will be is­sues to do with farm­ers’ bank ac­counts. Some use old dys­func­tional ac­counts, some fill in wrong bank ac­count de­tails and as a re­sult the pay­ment is de­layed. If you don’t re­ceive your pay­ment within two weeks at most ap­proach your GMB de­pot,” he said.

Mean­while, cot­ton farm­ers have de­liv­ered more than 138 mil­lion kilo­grammes to cot­ton mer­chants this sea­son. Ad­dress­ing the same meet­ing, Agri­cul­ture Mar­ket­ing Au­thor­ity (AMA) act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Mrs Nancy Zit­sanza said there has been a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in cot­ton pro­duc­tion from last year.

Mrs Zit­sanza said last year cot­ton farm­ers de­liv­ered more than 75 mil­lion kilo­grammes of cot­ton to mer­chants com­pared to 138 mil­lion kilo­grammes de­liv­ered this year. She said more than 300 000 farm­ers and ap­prox­i­mately one mil­lion peo­ple are re­ly­ing on cot­ton farm­ing in Zimbabwe. Mrs Zit­sanza said lo­cal cot­ton was rated third in the world in terms of qual­ity.

“There are many peo­ple who rely on cot­ton pro­duc­tion. Our cot­ton is now highly re­garded in terms of qual­ity. It is also on de­mand and there has been un­der-pro­duc­tion of cot­ton in the coun­try. The crop has the po­ten­tial of gen­er­at­ing for­eign cur­rency,” she said.

Mrs Zit­sanza said the Govern­ment has started dis­tribut­ing cot­ton seed ahead of the sum­mer crop­ping sea­son to en­sure that farm­ers are not in­con­ve­nienced and en­able in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity. Mrs Zit­sanza said the Govern­ment has put in place a statu­tory in­stru­ment that com­pels mer­chants to grade cot­ton so that there is in­creased qual­ity.

“We have four grades that is A,B,C and D. Farm­ers should re­ceive grad­ing re­sults from mer­chants. All mer­chants should grade cot­ton. They do this un­der Govern­ment su­per­vi­sion and mon­i­tor­ing. A bet­ter grade fetches more,” she said.

Farm­ers have so far de­liv­ered 1,1 mil­lion tonnes of maize to the Strate­gic Grain Re­serves at the Grain Mar­ket­ing Board

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