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– Chronicle

THE Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has mobilised $20 billion under a pre-payment arrangement with Government to bankroll maize procurement by the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) this selling season.

GMAZ chairman, Mr Tafadzwa Musarara, said this during a Press conference held in Bulawayo yesterday.

Following a bumper harvest the country has achieved on the back of good rains in the last cropping season, Government has this year set aside $60 billion to capacitate the GMB in paying farmers for maize deliveries.

This means that the ZWL$20 billion mobilised by the millers is part of the ZWL$60 billion Government has earmarked for grain procurement by GMB.

“We are happy that the Government has come up with the GMB function, which we are going to support fully where farmers have been given firstly a price of $32 000 per tonne. “If you convert it by either official or black market exchange rate, the price there will come up to US$360 per tonne (official rate) and at black market rate over US$300 per tonne, meaning our farmers receive the highest price ever and not only in the region or in Africa, but in the world,”

he said.

“We have mobilised $20 billion, which is more of a pre-payment arrangement that we are going to do on the terms and guidelines that are going to be set by the Government.”

Mr Musarara said in the past three months GMAZ has been working with the Government to support improved farm output.

According to the Second Round of Crop and Livestock Assessment Report released recently, the estimated maize production stands at 2 717 171 tonnes, which is 199 percent of the 907 628 tonnes produced in the 2019/2020 season.

“Firstly, we are thankful to God that we had more than enough rains and coupled with preparedness of Government we have now seen the country producing way above requirement harvest. “In other words, we have recorded a bumper harvest and the bumper harvest exceeds our 1,6 million tonnes annual requirement,”

he said.

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