Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) is experiencing challenges paying for some of the grain delivered to its depots as some farmers’ accounts cannot accommodate huge sums of money because of limits, while others did not give correct account details.
Both problems can easily be sorted out by farmers approaching their bank to get better limits and giving the GMB their correct particulars.
GMB chief executive, Mr Rockie Mutenha, yesterday said GMB had received grain worth $32,2 billion from farmers since the start of the marketing season, but had paid $28,8 billion.
“We have received 878 819 tonnes of maize from farmers as compared to 135 067 tonnes in the same period last year,” he said.
“Farmers have also delivered 95 796 tonnes of traditional grains, 10 times more than last season’s 9 111 tonnes.
“We are experiencing rejections for farmers’ accounts with low Know Your Customer ratings. These accounts cannot accommodate huge sums of money because of the limits which they have.”
Mr Mutenha urged farmers to upgrade such accounts so they get their money without challenges.
“Some farmers submit card numbers instead of account numbers,” he said.
“These contribute to delays in payments as transactions are rejected.
“GMB is paid up to mid-August. Farmers who may not have received their payments must approach either their banks to regularise their bank accounts if they may have problems cited above or their supply chain managers at their nearest depots.”
The GMB is expecting to buy 1,8 million tonnes of maize and 200 000 tonnes of traditional grains, thus making a total of 2 million tonnes of grains. We are buying maize at $32 000 per tonne, traditional grains at $38 000 per tonne and soya beans at $48 000 per tonne.
Zimbabwe expects to harvest 2,7 million tonnes of maize this year, but almost 1 million tonnes will be retained by the farmers for themselves and their families and for on farm requirements.
The output is three times last season’s output on the back of good rainfall across the country.
Last year, the maize harvest was 900 000 tonnes, which is half the annual requirement for human and stock feed requirements.
However, the good rains, coupled with early distribution of inputs, especially under Government supported programmes such as Pfumvudza and Command Agriculture, contributed to the expected high yield.
GMB has decentralised the payment system.
Supply chain managers were empowered so they pay farmers from the depots to reduce the turnaround time.