AMA to float $50m Bills for maize purchase

Source: AMA to float $50m Bills for maize purchase | The Herald July 14, 2016

Happiness Zengeni and Tinashe Makichi

The Agriculture Marketing Authority (AMA) will float an additional $50 million Bills for local maize purchase for the 2016 season. This comes after the authority settled the $12 million AMA bonds in May. Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development deputy director Collen Kabudura told the Office of the President and Cabinet stakeholders’ workshop on Zim-Asset communication and media strategy yesterday that AMA requested and was granted authority to float an additional $50 million Bills for 2016 maize purchase.He also said the 2 million AMA bonds issued under BancABC facility matured on 17 May, 2016 and were settled accordingly adding that discussions were underway to have the same amount rolled over for 180 days guaranteed by Treasury Bills.

Mr Kabudura said a total of 80 551 metric tonnes of maize, 533mt of Wheat and 4m of small grains had been procured locally by the Grain Marketing Board as at 5 July, 2016.

Cumulative payments for the 2016 /17 marketing season as of 23 June, 2016 are valued at $19 315 406 (49 527mt) for maize and $234 060 (468) for wheat. Tonnage not paid for is equivalent to $2 298 394 (5 893mt) for maize, $32 440 (65mt) for wheat and $920 (4mt) for small grains.

The stakeholder’s workshop was organised by the OPC’s Department of Public Affairs and Knowledge Management and Mr Kabudura was making a presentation on the achievements made so far by the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation under its Food and Nutrition Cluster.

The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda is expected to launch the Zim-Asset Communication and Media Strategy by the end of this month.

Mr Kabudura added that a total of $3,7 million has been disbursed by Government (PSIP and More food for Africa) and FAO for the emergency irrigation programme against a budget of $10,5 million.

He said the targeted projects are mostly system rehabilitations and system modernisations of communal and A1 irrigation schemes. As at 8 June, 2016, 12 027 hectares has been rehabilitated against a target of 15 100 hectares.

Mr Kabudura said phase one equipment bought under the More Food for Africa facility has already been distributed.

“Irrigation equipment has been distributed to 65 Irrigation sites, 2 417 beneficiaries and mechanisation equipment has been distributed to 320 irrigation schemes with 17 248 beneficiaries. A total of 17 projects with 1 366ha are ready for commissioning under the More Food Africa programme,” said Mr Kabudura.

He said discussions are underway to come up with the 2016 /17 summer crop and livestock programme. The target is food self-sufficiency (2 million mt) and the private sector has been engaged for their commitment through contract farming.

Mr Kabudura added that as a result of AMALIMA’s revised and scaled-up asset strategy 27 productive assets were developed or rehabilitated to date in Matabeleland North, including irrigation schemes, dams, grazing land and dip tanks.

The AMALIMA programme started in June 2013 and is scheduled to close in June 2018. It draws its name from the Ndebele word for the social contract by which families come together to help each other engage in productive activities such as land cultivation, livestock tending and asset building.

AMALIMA builds on existing communal initiatives in order to sustainably improve household food security and nutrition by strengthening access to and availability of food, community resilience to shocks, and nutrition and health among mothers and children in Matabeleland North, Bulilima, Gwanda and Matabeleland South.