ZIMBABWE – Farmers have so far delivered 120 000 metric tonnes of maize to the Grain Marketing Board, surpassing the 2013 marketing season where only 33 273 tonnes were delivered, a senior Government official has said.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Cde Davis Marapira, told The Herald in an interview that Government was expecting 500 000 metric tonnes of maize by the end of the marketing season.
He said Government was pleased with the maize deliveries so far as farmers had already surpassed the 2013 /2014 maize deliveries.
“Farmers have delivered 120 000 metric tonnes of maize. We do not have a target but we are going to collect everything that farmers bring to the GMB. The target is anything that can be delivered,” he said.
“The deliveries are good as most of the maize produce started coming in around August. The dry maize with proper moisture content started to be delivered mid-August,” he said.
Cde Marapira encouraged farmers to make GMB their first choice in delivering maize and small grains as payment for farmers had improved.
“The more we pay them on time, the more they bring in their maize. So far, farmers have been paid well and they are very happy as more deliveries are moving. It is not like previous years where they had to wait for six to seven months. This year, they are only waiting for a month or two,” he said.
The Deputy Minister said traders should comply with the new statutory instrument pegging producer price for maize and small grains at US$390 per tonne.
He also advised farmers to start buying inputs in preparation for the next cropping season after receiving their payment from the GMB.
Cde Marapira urged farmers to visit the Ministry’s stand at the Harare Agricultural Show to receive education on yields improvement.
Farmers exhibiting agricultural produce at the show on Tuesday hailed this year’s producer price but urged the GMB to pay them on time.
“I am happy with the set producer price, but I am worried with the time GMB will take in paying for my labour.
“I have to prepare for next year’s cropping season and if I don’t get paid on time, I will not be able to prepare for next the season,” said Mr Luke Takaidza of Mutoko.
August 28, 2014; http://www.herald.co.zw/gmb-maize-deliveries-up/