Anxiety grips Silobela

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The business community and leadership in rural Gweru say they are not aware of the re-introduced grain loan scheme touted as the solution to worsening food shortages.

Administered by the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), the scheme is expected to benefit about 600 000 households countrywide.

But business and community leaders in Silobela, which borders Nkayi district told Regional Integration and International Co-operation minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga last week they feared being left out of the programme.

“As a councillor and speaking on behalf of the business community, we have not heard of the grain loan scheme,” said Nkayi councillor Sandra Ncube.

“We hope we will not be sidelined when it is rolled out.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga promised to engage Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development minister Joseph Made on the issue.

“It was resolved in Cabinet that as a matter of urgency vulnerable households would be allocated grain from the GMB, which would be repaid after harvesting,” she said.

“It was agreed that 500 centres be opened up and the information be publicised through radio stations and newspapers.”

The scheme would be supervised by an inter-ministerial committee comprising of several ministers.
Business leaders also complained that in the absence of a GMB depot, they were forced to conduct business with Nkayi, Zhombe and Kwekwe depots.