The 2007/08 agricultural seasons saw very poor yields throughout Zimbabwe because of a bad rainy season. Consequently, there was a shortage of grain to meet the national requirements. The government was paying the following producer prices:
- Maize per tonne Z$4,582
- Maize seed per tonne Z$13,000
The program commenced in May 2008, and a grain mobilizing committee was set up comprising officers from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and Agritex. The government was mobilizing grain from all farming sectors to a centralized GMB facility in order to build strategic stocks in addition to ongoing imports.
The main objectives of the intervention were as follows:
- to urgently procure excess maize and small grains from farmers in order to boost the national strategic grain reserve;
- to ensure timely payments to farmers for their grain;
- to mitigate inflationary pressures by paying farmers for their produce even before they supply the crop to enable them purchase inputs for subsequent seasons; and
- to save scarce foreign currency resources and channel them for other critical supplementary food imports.
- Evangelista Mudzonga, Tendai Chigwada , Trade Knowledge Network, Accessed: 24 July, 2020