ZIMBABWE – Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA), the government’s marketing agency plans to raise US$75 million for the purchase of maize from farmers in 2018 season, reports the Herald.
The agro-bills which have a tenor of 360 days and interest rate of 7% per annum would be used for the purchases through the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
“The Agricultural Marketing (AMA) intends to issue AMA Bills of up to $75 million to finance the purchase of maize grain for the 2018 buying season through the Grain Marketing Board,” said AMA in a statement.
“CBZ Holdings Limited, as the financial advisor, hereby invites corporate and individual investors to subscribe to the AMA Bills.
Applications must be for a minimum of US$5000 and in multiples of US$5000 thereafter.”
AMA was blamed for inability to carry its mandate in solving challenges faced by farmers including purchase and sale of agro-produce from rural communities.
Due to the absence of many viable markets in the country, some farmers particularly in the horticulture sector whose products have a short shelf-life, lose potential incomes or end up selling their produce at ridiculously low prices to unscrupulous middlemen.
Other farmers have abandoned the growing flowers due to lack of readily accessible foreign markets and the failure to meet the expected quality standards.
According to President Mnangagwa, there was need to address these marketing gaps within the sector, deal with side marketing and explore exports for agricultural produce.
The government is keen to restructure AMA following claims by farmers and organisations that it had failed to solve the chaotic marketing of various crops particularly cotton.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that the move was geared at solving challenges faced in marketing agricultural produce while making the marketing agency more responsive to such problems.
“My Government will soon be restructuring the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) to make it more responsive to address these marketing gaps within the sector . . . and deal decisively with side marketing.
Going forward, it will be equally important to address the export market for our agricultural produce,” said the President.
The government plans to explore more export markets for local agricultural products through the country’s premier export promotion agency, ZimTrade.
They are re-engaging Zimbabwe into current and new markets to tap on huge agricultural products market in SADC, COMESA and the European Union.