Farmers have so far delivered 110 000 tonnes of maize to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and are continuing to be paid the bonus for early deliveries.
The better prices, near instant payments and a large number of collection points have seen GMB buying more maize this year than last year where farmers had sent 61 685 tonnes of maize during the same period.
Both years have seen deliveries reduced by drought and poor rainfall, but many of the incessant problems faced by farmers delivering to the GMB have now been sorted out.
In an interview yesterday, GMB chief executive Mr Rockie Mutenha said the board had established 172 collection points across the country and several mobile points that were operational in Harare.
“As at August 6, we had received 110 000 tonnes of maize, a huge increase from the 61 685 tonnes that had been delivered by farmers during the same time last year,” he said
Farmers have managed to deliver 190 tonnes of millet.
Sorghum deliveries have also increased from 3 000 tonnes that were sent to GMB depots by farmers last year to the current 4 475 tonnes.
“We are paying farmers within 72 hours,” said Mr Mutenha. “We urge farmers to continue delivering their grain to the GMB depots early before they incur post-harvest losses. Empty bags can be collected from the nearest depot.
“If farmers face challenges, they should approach depot managers for assistance. Collecting points are still operating to reduce transport challenges to depots.”
This year, GMB is paying an incentive of 30 percent to farmers who delivered their maize before July 31 while the producer price was recently reviewed upwards.
The parastatal adjusted the maize and traditional grains producer price to $21 000 a tonne for maize and $21 913 for traditional grains as directed by Cabinet.