Home » Business » AMA to Issue Bills for GMB

The Agricultural Marketing Authority of Zimbabwe intends to issue bills to raise funds for the Grain Marketing Board to pay maize farmers and rehabilitate silos.

GMB said these funds would be made available by the time farmers’ start delivering maize to depots countrywide. The projected marketable surplus of maize based on the results of the current crop forecasts for the 2014-2015 is 250 000 tonnes.

“It is estimated that maize purchases will require $100 million and Government has made a provision for this amount in the budget,” the GMB said.

“However, cognisant of the tight fiscal position and the imperative to pay farmers timeously, the GMB has approached AMA to raise sufficient resources in the market through bills. The AMA funds will also be used by the GMB to purchase sufficient grain bags, bitumised tarpaulins and to rehabilitate silos to ensure optimum grain storage capacity,” the GMB said.

The repairs to silos will ensure that the GMB will have available bulk storage capacity of 427 700 tonnes which is more than the 250 000 tonnes of maize the GMB is targeting to purchase from the local market in the 2014-2015 season.

The GMB noted a decrease in maize received in the 2013-14 marketing year from the intake that was received in the previous year to March 2013.

“The decrease in maize deliveries was a result of erratic climatic conditions which affected production, delayed inputs, late farmer payments and crop production shifts as most farmers have resorted to high earning crops like tobacco,” it said.

The 2013-2014 season’s maize intake was 47 917 tonnes, which is 59 percent lower than the maize delivered during the 2012-2013 marketing season which was 131 432 tonnes.

During the 2013-2014 marketing season, GMB faced several challenges that included shortage of grain storage bags, poor storage infrastructure and transport logistics.

The GMB also experienced very limited liquidity compounded by delays in receipts from Treasury.

Cumulative maize deliveries in the year to March 2014 amounted to 33 273 tonnes while small grains amounted to 395 tonnes. Total maize and small grains deliveries were valued at $12,6 million.

Cumulative payments for maize and small grains for 2013-2014 marketing season amounted to $11,9 million. Outstanding payments stood at $725,924,54 as at March 31 2014.

A total of 7,644 tonnes of wheat valued at $3,6 million was delivered whilst outstanding payments stood at $412 814 as at March 31.

Source : The Herald