GMB Requests ZW$1bn And US$1.5m To Pay Farmers Promptly
The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has urgently requested a float of $1 billion and US$1.5 million from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to ensure prompt payment to farmers upon delivery of their grain.
Late payments by the GMB have affected farmers’ earnings and financing of future operations.
The GMB’s finance director, Mr Clemence Guta, made this appeal to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement on Tuesday, emphasizing the need for a continuous flow of funds to facilitate timely payments. He said:
We have also requested for a float of $1 billion and US$1,5 million so that we timely pay farmers.
Total receipts to date are 3 331 MT valued at $513,38 million and US$714 000. Farmers have been the given Zimbabwe dollar component in full and the forex component is still outstanding.
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The Grain Marketing Board has received payment for all the grain delivered by farmers, totaling 373,996 tonnes valued at $58.97 billion and US$53.38 million since the opening of the 2022-2023 marketing season.
Mr Guta stated that maize was the top grain delivered with 2,846 tonnes, followed by soya beans, white sorghum, red sorghum, sunflower, and wheat. He added that the outstanding foreign component will be received this week.
He also warned the public against conmen who pose as its employees and offer foreign currency in exchange for local currency deposits. Guta said the GMB does not have any agents for procurement and payment. He encouraged people to report such incidents to any GMB depot or police station.
The government recently announced a grain producer price of US$335 per tonne for maize and traditional grains, with US$200 in foreign currency and US$135 in local currency.
Similarly, the floor producer price for soybean is US$580 per tonne, with US$348 in foreign currency and US$232 in local currency at the interbank rate. Oil expressers will pay GMB US$638 a tonne, paid as US$348 in foreign currency plus US$290 in Zimbabwe dollars.
The floor producer price for sunflower is US$696 per tonne, while the pre-planting floor producer price for wheat was set at US$520 per tonne.