via No free Chinese money | The Zimbabwean 26.03.14 by Nelson Sibanda
China has demanded a $7 million upfront deposit and bankable guarantees before releasing the $50 million loan needed for the rehabilitation of Zimbabwe’s grain silos, Deputy Minister for Agriculture (livestock), Paddy Zhanda, told Parliament recently.
“The Chinese want suitable bankable guarantees and a cash deposit upfront,” Zhanda said.
Zanu (PF) MP for Mutasa South, Irene Zindi, expressed worry at the fate of this season’s harvest if government failed to secure the loan in time. “If farmers deliver maize to GMB now before the silos are rehabilitated, will the grain not go to waste?” she asked.
Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Rinson Chitsiko recently told the parliamentary committee for agriculture, that GMB silos needed urgent repair.
Zhanda said government would pay farmers for grain delivered to GMB through a facility the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe.
According to GMB general manager, Albert Mandizha, government needs $1.5 million to pay farmers for grain supplied last season, plus $8.5 million to pay transporters for distribution of the grain loan scheme.