Source: AMA seeks $50m for grain purchase | The Herald September 16, 2016
The Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) is on the market to raise $50 million for purchasing grain.Zimbabwe is still purchasing grain after it was hit by a drought in the past farming season that has seen over four million people requiring food aid.Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa last week said the country had eight months’ worth of grain stocks in its reserves.
The 511 816 tonnes of maize that farmers are expected to deliver from last season falls short of the national annual requirement of 2,2 million tonnes.
Government and the private sector are expected to mobilise the remaining 1,7 million tonnes to meet the deficit from imports.
A department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, AMA said yesterday it had issued the $50 million worth of AMA Bills, which opened for subscription on Monday.
“The Agricultural Marketing Authority intends to issue AMA Bills of up to $50 million to finance purchases of grain through the Grain Marketing Board (GMB),” it said.
The bills have a tenor of 360 days from the day of allotment, with an interest of eight percent per annum.
The instruments have a Government guarantee as a security feature and other special features such as prescribed asset, liquid asset and tax exemption status.
CBZ Bank, which is handling the transactions, said the offers for subscription were open to, among other investors, pensions and provident funds, insurance companies, life, mutual and commercial banks.
“Applications must be for a minimum of $50 000 and in multiples of $10 000 thereafter,” said AMA.
Through the bills, the Government is borrowing money from the market, which is repaid with interest at maturity.
Latest figures from the Government show that the GMB has received about 175 000 tonnes of maize worth $68,3 million from local farmers and the parastatal had so far paid $60,3 million as at the end of June this year. — New Ziana.