GMB to pay out $15m to farmers

via GMB to pay out $15m to farmers | The Herald August 10, 2015

GOVERNMENT has released $15 million to the Grain Marketing Board for payment to farmers who delivered their grain to the national granary.

The development will enable farmers to prepare for the forthcoming agricultural season.

This comes as farmers’ representatives yesterday called on Government to put in place mechanisms that ensure ordinary farmers who delivered their grain also benefit from the disbursement.

Farmers claim GMB prioritises politicians and those “with big names” when paying for grain delivered to the national silo.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made confirmed the release of the funds last Friday saying the money was ready for disbursement and farmers with outstanding amounts from last season would be paid.

“The Treasury has released $15 million and the resources are already with the GMB as of yesterday (Thursday),” he said.

“This is in line with the promise by Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa during the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement last week that he was going to prioritise the farmers such that they start preparing for the new season coming.”

He added: “He (Minister Chinamasa) has recognised farmers who have delivered grain which is being used in depressed areas. The money would cover grain delivered the season preceding the current one and also that grain which is being delivered.”

In his Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement, Minister Chinamasa said Zimbabwe required at least $1,3 billion to fund crop production during the 2015-2016 summer cropping season.

Dr Made said favouritism would not be tolerated.

“They should give priority to every farmer, in particular small-scale farmers who have sacrificed a lot by delivering what they have to the GMB,” he said.

Though the money is not enough to pay farmers, they have continued delivering maize to the GMB with 26 950 tonnes of maize having been delivered to the national silo this year.

This year farmers delivered grain worth $10,5 million.

Zimbabwe Commercial Famers’ Union president Mr Wonder Chabikwa said most GMB officials were not following Government instructions to also prioritise ordinary farmers.

“A farmer does not have another name except being called a farmer and anyone who has made deliveries should be considered and treated equally,” he said.

“In fact, those who deliver first should be paid first. People have been calling us complaining that instead of covering two seasons at once, Government should have cleared arrears from the previous season and then pay those who are currently delivering grain at a later stage when the resources become available.”

Mr Chabikwa said food security at household level was also important and small-scale farmers needed to be treated with great respect.

“They also need to plan and all along they have been complaining that they are not being treated fairly,” he said.

“To them, money disbursements will remain nothing if they do not get hold of the money themselves and they would see as if Government is doing nothing.”

Zimbabwe Indigenous Women Farmers’ Association Nkomo Trust president Mrs Depinah Nkomo said there should be no bureaucracy when it came to farming.

“We all contribute to the national silo and our efforts should be considered equally,” she said.

“If the current situation is not addressed, it means smallholder farmers will never grow. What pains us is that some of those with big names who get paid first are not even farmers. They use their financial power and go around provinces buying grain from stranded farmers at lower prices for resale to the GMB.”

This year Government targets to assist 300 000 vulnerable households through inputs support schemes at a cost of $28 million.

The inputs support package will comprise a 10kg bag of maize seed, a 50kg bag of Compound D and a bag of Ammonium Nitrate for top dressing fertilisers.


  • comment-avatar
    tonyme 9 years ago

    Can the farmers who borrowed their money from RBZ be made to pay some of their money from this baatch? It seems only fair rather than having the poor people of Zimbabwe bear the burden.who advises the President on financial matters for the country? He runs country finances like his own piggy bank.
    Shameion you Zim.

  • comment-avatar
    amina Brookes 9 years ago

    GMB may pay the farmers, but was grain delivered. Below arecases where grain was not delivered: an incident that I can recall very well, one ZANU PF guy, delivered maize with a tractor, and then came back and buy the same grain as a miller and delivered it again at the grain facility in the evening came the following day and buy it, it happened more that 5 thimes. The motive behind this was price to take advantage of disparity between GMB prices of selling and the price GMB was buying from farmers. The incident was only abated after intervention but the man had benefited from that. Another incident was that GMB was forced to buy wheat from another politician when the gain was extremely water damaged, that grain was not even suitable to be for stock feed, the grain was just burned after paying the politician. Other incidents relates to farmers using their wives names to borrow inputs, and sell the produce using the husband’s name as such not link to afford the deduction of the inputs loan scheme. The perpetrators are big well known ZANU PF people. Its sad that after all these atrocities GONO and the ZANU PF government forced people to government t take the loans and that the people who did not benefited are paying through the taxes.