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GMB under fire over inputs distribution


Grain Marketing Board (GMB) bosses have come under fire from MPs over late and uneven distribution of agricultural inputs, including fertiliser and maize seed, to farmers.

GMB general manager Albert Mandizha and senior managers were grilled over the shortcomings when they appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Water, Lands and Resettlement chaired by Chikomba Central MP Moses Jiri.
The committee heard some areas in Matabeleland North and South received more than their required supply of farming inputs while some Mashonaland provinces received inadequate supplies.

Goromonzi North MP Paddy Zhanda said there was no justification for the shortage of fertiliser when there were thousands of tonnes lying idle in different provinces.

Other committee members accused the parastatal of poor planning especially in relation to the late delivery of inputs.

But Mandizha said: “It is not GMB which decides on the model of distribution. It is a Cabinet model, and we only comply with that. We came up with a comprehensive paper as early as July to say government must finalise contracts for procurement of fertiliser in August, so that we distribute inputs as early as October and November, but that has not been complied with.

“The fertiliser supply situation is desperate and causing serious inconveniences to the farmers as there are 28 000 metric tonnes of fertiliser undelivered.”

Mandizha told the committee the government was still to pay an amount of $18,6 million for fertiliser, but what had been paid was $8 million, leaving an outstanding amount of $9,43 million.

He said the GMB investigated all cases of corruption brought before them and in most cases they did not find evidence to prove their management was engaged in illicit deals, adding the list of beneficiaries of the government inputs scheme would be released at the end of next week.

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