Govt reissues $5bn agro bills

BY SHAME MAKOSHORI

THE Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) has reissued its $5 billion bills to enable the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) purchase grain for the 2021 marketing season.

Financial services giant, CBZ Holdings Limited, which is handling the transaction, said last week’s offer of AMA Bills would attract a 19% interest rate with a 270-day tenure.

CBZ said only applicants with a minimum of $1 million would be eligible to participate.

The bank said the bills would have a prescribed and liquid asset statuses, in addition to tax exemption.

The bills were initially the 2021 marketing season issued on July 5, but last week’s invitation to investors contained new terms.

“The Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) intends to issue AMA Bills of up to $5 000 000 000 to finance the purchase of maize for the 2021 buying season through the Grain Marketing Board,” CBZ said in the new offer.

“The initial offer was opened on 5 July 2021 and AMA seeks to reissue the bills with revised terms, thus superseding the current issue. CBZ Holdings Limited, as the financial advisor, hereby invites corporates and individual investors to subscribe to AMA Bills,” the statement added.

Zimbabwe has entered its marketing season for most crops with grain farmers already shipping their produce to the GMB.

Injections from the bills would be crucial to help the GMB fund payment to farmers who have previously been affected by payment delays.

Farmers’ unions had said government should fund the State-run grain buyer so that it pays farmers in time.

Following years of poor rainfall, the country is expecting over two
million metric tonnes of the staple crop this season, which is enough to feed the nation without resorting to imports.

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