MP Demands Answers On Why "No Wheat Farmer Has Been Paid Anything Yet"

1 year agoTue, 13 Dec 2022 05:03:24 GMT
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MP Demands Answers On Why "No Wheat Farmer Has Been Paid Anything Yet"

Harare North lawmaker Allan Norman Markham has demanded that the ministers of agriculture and finance give reasons behind the delayed payment of wheat farmers two months after delivering produce.

He made the remarks while raising a point of national interest last Thursday in parliament, according to Open Parly.

Markham said delayed payment may affect preparation for next season. He said:

My point of national interest is requesting a statement from the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. 

Currently, we are aware that the Government has yielded and received 255.000 tonnes of wheat. 

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That has been in stock now for nearly two months and no wheat farmer that I am aware of has been paid anything yet. 

Wheat farmers are due to receive $200 to $220 per tonne and also ZWL 255.000 but none of this has been paid.

I think it is a matter of national importance that this House asks for a statement from the Minister as to the delay in payment.

Furthermore, Markham expressed concern over reports that farmers were expected to pay for storage and marketing of the produce because the Government cannot pay them. 

Wheat is among the grain on the controlled produce list that restricts farmers to sell the produce to the Grain Marketing Board or contractor who has financed production.

Earlier in the year the government complained about side marketing by farmers insisting it would cause food insecurity.

The further payment delays to  wheat farmers may result into a shortage of the produce or a rise in price especially considering that there is wheat shortage on the global market due to the Russia-Ukraine war which began in February this year.

Markham added that the delay will push the farmer to borrow in the financial sector with the highest lending rate in the world.

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