HARARE, May 16 — More than 1, 000 tonnes of maize have so far been delivered to Zimbabwe’s Grain Marketing Board (GMB) since the beginning of the current selling season early this month, says Pa Ca Agriculture Mechanization and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made.

The GMB is targeting to buy 250,000 tonnes of maize for the Strategic Grain Reserve during the 2014/15 grain marketing season, an increase from the 33,273 tonnes delivered to the GMB depots during the 2013/14 marketing season.

Made said the GMB would be given necessary funds for all the grain delivered. The GMB requires about 100 million US dollars to pay for the maize.

Madealso said the country was anticipating better yields this year than in the last season. “I have made several announcements that this season we expect some very fair crop which we expect will be delivered to the GMB. In light of that, it is very important that we reward our farmers by paying them. The Cabinet has directed the Minister of Finance to mobilize funds to pay for the maize delivered,” he said.

“To date already above 1,000 tonnes have been delivered to the GMB, and yes the GMB will pay as they are acquiring for the Strategic Grain Reserve.”

Made said the GMB would be buying maize at 390 USD per tonne and he urged independent buyers to pay reasonable prices for the crop to farmers.

“I would also like to appeal to even those that are buying outside the GMB to pay fair prices,’ he said.

Zimbabwe requires about 2.2 million tonnes of maize a year to cater for both human and livestock consumption. During the 2012/13 farming season, only 800,000 tonnes of maize were produced.