‘Farmers holding on to surplus grain’

via ‘Farmers holding on to surplus grain’ | The Herald August 20, 2015

The private sector has imported 101 716 tonnes of maize to cover the grain deficit as local farmers shun delivering their maize to the Grain Marketing Board. This has compromised the Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR). Government issued permits for the importation of 819 704 tonnes of maize recently.Agricultural experts say some farmers have surplus maize, but are reluctant to sell it to the GMB which does not pay upon delivery.

Most farmers are selling their grain to middlemen offering cash on the spot.

In an interview recently, Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union president Mr Wonder Chabikwa said farmers in Mashonaland Central had surplus maize and the same applied to those in Mashonaland West.

“According to the national crop assessment, we have nearly 500 000 tonnes of maize available for sale, but this does not mean it will be delivered for the SGR.

“GMB is paying the best price but because it takes long to pay, farmers are selling to middlemen who then sell to millers. Most buyers are offering between $200 and $220 per tonne,” he said.

GMB buys maize and small grains at $390 per tonne.

Mr Chabikwa said the situation could have been different had the GMB been paying instantly.

“Most farmers would like to sell their grain to GMB but the issue of late payments has discouraged them. Farmers are wounded,” he said.

Agricultural economist Mr Peter Gambara confirmed the development.

“Farmers would want to use their money to pay fees and buy inputs and this is not possible when payments take long.

“Most farmers are selling to other cash buyers offering around $220 per tonne. Farmers have current obligations to fulfil and selling to cash buyers will be a better option than wait (indefinitely),” he said.

“If Treasury releases funds for grain payments early, farmers will deliver their grain to the GMB.”

Drought and floods affected maize production in the 2014-15 season.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa is on record as saying the country needs to import 700 000 tonnes of grain to ensure food security.

Presenting his Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement, Minister Chinamasa said $1,7 billion was needed to finance the 2015-16 farming season.


  • comment-avatar
    Farmer 7 years ago

    GMB is one company which should retrench its workers. There is no job to do for some years now.

  • comment-avatar
    william mills 7 years ago

    GMB needs professional management, but first it needs to be depoliticized. Just think of the ironic ‘corniness’ (excuse the pun). Farmers are willing to part with their maize for around $200/ton to buyers who have money. The GMB will pay $390 but have no money. IF the government had any money they would want to subsidize maize farming to the tune of about 90%, while the rest of the countries infrastructure rots for lack of money to the fiscus. In this sense it is good that the country is bankrupt. This is how the country got to be bankrupt because the same kind of stupidity is applied to just about every parastal including essential utilities. One cannot run a modern economy with 80-IQ fools who think they are much smarter. This is the real curse of Africa, not colonialism.

  • comment-avatar
    Trebor Ebagum 7 years ago

    You mean those little thieves who are growing food for their family for the season are not handing it over to the big thieves who sell it to their political constituents?