Grain Marketing Board is buying moisture meters to assist farmers to measure the moisture content in yields before deliveries to the national grain reserve.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
The move was made after several cases were recorded last year of farmers who were turned away with their yields after high levels of moisture were detected.
GMB board chairman, Charles Chikaura said GMB has acquired a sufficient stock of moisture meters to assist farmers with moisture testing in the field before grain deliveries are made to GMB depots.
“Based on last season’s experiences, we have acquired sufficient stock of moisture meters to assist farmers with moisture testing in the field before grain deliveries are made to GMB depots, thus managing the risk of grain with high moisture content being returned and inconveniencing farmer as happened in the last season,” he said.
“The GMB is also working with government to invest in grain driers which will be strategically located at our depots countrywide, further assist farmers especially farmers in the when growing areas to manage the problem of high moisture content.”
Meanwhile, addressing journalists in Bulawayo last week during the media tour of the parastatal’s Bulawayo depot, GMB quality assurance officer Sheila Chidemo said farmers needed to produce quality grain that was marketable and thorough cleaning and grading of the grain was required to get rid of defective grain.
“GMB accepts grain which is of good quality and an moisture content level to ensure good storage of the grain. Storing grains of moisture above the acceptable levels will lead to grain quality deterioration storage challenges and post-harvest losses,” she said.
Last year, the country experienced high yields which the minister said were last experienced in the 1994/5 agriculture season.