News Column

GMB Shuts Door on Middlemen

July 25, 2014



Government has ordered the Grain Marketing Board not to buy grain from middlemen who are shortchanging farmers by offering low prices for grain which they resale for huge profits. Secretary for Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Mr Ringson Chitsiko confirmed the development in a statement last week.

Middlemen are reportedly buying grain for as little as US$190 a tonne.

The GMB offers US$390.

"With immediate effect, GMB will not accept maize deliveries from grain traders bent on fleecing farmers of their hard-earned cash.

"This is in line with Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation which seeks to empower local farmers. In this regard, farmers are urged to deliver their maize directly to the GMB depots," said Mr Chitsiko.

He said Government was committed to pay farmers within 60 days after delivery of grain to GMB.

"GMB staff are not allowed to buy grain from farmers and sell to the company depots. If they do so, they will be violating their conditions of employment which do not allow them to be traders," said Mr Chitsiko.

GMB has received 40 064 tonnes of maize since the opening of the grain marketing season on April 1.

About 12 000 tonnes were delivered to GMB during the same period last year.

Payments for deliveries will be done through CBZ and Agribank.

Treasury has released US$4,5 million for maize deliveries made up to the end of May 2014.

GMB requires US$100 million to buy the targeted 250 000 tonnes of maize this season.

The parastatal is offering the highest price for maize and small grains although it does not have the capacity to pay instant cash.

This has tempted farmers to sell their grain at giveaway prices to middlemen who offer cash upfront.


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Source: AllAfrica


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