HomeBusinessGovt secures funds for GMB grain deliveries: VP

Govt secures funds for GMB grain deliveries: VP

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GOVERNMENT has secured funds to buy grain up to 1,3 million metric tonnes delivered to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), so that farmers can prepare for winter wheat farming in earnest, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Giving his keynote address at the Zimbabwe International Business Conference yesterday in Bulawayo at the on-going Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, Mnangagwa said the government was ready to purchase all grains delivered to GMB.

“The country is expecting a bumper harvest this year. The country is thus assured of readily available feed stock that will go into various agro-processing productions lines that all along have largely relied on imports,” Mnangagwa said.

“To minimise cost harvesting grain losses, enough grain storage facilities have been made available by government supported by the private sector in particular the Grain Millers’ Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ). Also in order for farmers to prepare for winter wheat farming in earnest and pay for goods and services and other necessities, the government will ensure that farmers are paid on time for delivered grain,” he said.

“We already have funds covering up to 1,3 million metric tonnes of grain delivered to Grain Marketing Board and we are still working on mobilising further funds because we believe that grain intake will exceed 2 million metric tonnes, but let me assure you that for now we have already have enough funds to cover 1,3 million metric tonnes of grain delivered.”

Responding to questions from the delegates, Mnangagwa said the Finance ministry has put aside $199 million to purchase the grain under the command agriculture.

He said $199 million would purchase about 500 000 metric tonnes of grain. Apart from that, Mnangagwa said GMAZ has come forward to purchase 800 000 metric tonnes of grain.

He said the country has about 136 combine harvesters, but of those only about 80 were functional.

Mnangagwa said currently silos in the country could only store 700 000 metric tonnes of grain, but they were expecting in excess of 2 million metric tonnes of grain.

“So you can see there is balance where there is no silo storage in the country and (Finance minister Patrick) Chinamasa does not have enough funds to build the things that we want for storage.”

“However, the private sectors have come forward. We needed $8 million to create storage facility outside silos storage. We have secured $8 million from Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe, who have volunteered their importation of grain which is about 800 000 metric tonnes of grain from outside to buy internal and giving us this $8 million. They will draw down the grain,” he said.

With this, the country can store up to 3,2 million metric tonnes of grain.

The trade fair, which will run up to Saturday under the theme, Harnessing Linkages for Industrial Development, will be officially opened by Namibian President Hage Geingob tomorrow.

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