via GMB gets cash for grain payments | The Herald 31 December 2014
Government has assured farmers who delivered grain to Grain Marketing Board depots countrywide that modalities have been put in place to ensure they are paid.
So far, the Government has disbursed $57.6 million to farmers for 255 519 tonnes of maize delivered to GMB valued at $101,8 million.
In a statement, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development yesterday said although Government was facing liquidity challenges, it was making efforts to raise funds for the payments.
“To date, Government has disbursed $57,6 million to GMB for payment to farmers for the grain delivered including $8,2 million for grain delivered during the previous season,” reads the statement.
Of the $57,6 million paid by Government, $51,5 million was raised through Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) Bills, with the balance being paid from fiscal resources.
Government still owes farmers $52, 4 million.
Government, in collaboration with AMA and CBZ, has issued another lot of AMA Bills to mobilise $50 million.
This was being done to ensure farmers were fully capacitated.
“Given the objective of ensuring food security, Government remains a key player in purchasing and storage of grain through the GMB. As such, Government prioritises the payment to farmers for grain deliveries made to the GMB.
“While it is ideal that farmers get their payment timeously for their various needs including farming operations, the prevailing liquidity challenges have resulted in Government falling behind in payments,” reads the statement in part.
The ministry said the money would be disbursed over a period and advised farmers to be patient.
“Already, against this issuance, $3 million has been raised towards liquidation of the outstanding amount to farmers. Therefore, as additional resources become available, they will be channelled towards payment of the outstanding amount to farmers in order to capacitate them to invest towards the 2014-15 agriculture season.”