ZIMBABWE – In anticipation of a bumper grain harvest in the 2020/21 season, Zimbabwean millers are seeking to pump US$8 million towards the breakfast category.
This was revealed by the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) highlighting that it is expecting 2 million tonnes of grain to be delivered at its granary with 1.8 million tonnes comprising of maize and the rest of traditional grains.
The improved agriculture output will be realised on back of ample rains during the farming season and timely distribution of inputs across the country by the government.
To this end grain millers in the country are seeking to undertake value addition and enhance their production capacity under the breakfast category.
“We are looking at US$8 million investment in the breakfast category and starting March next year, we should see more products in this category on the market” said Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) vice chairman, Mr Chipo Nheta.
Mr Nheta said the anticipated bumper harvest would also be an added advantage for millers as most raw materials would be available locally.
He also called on Government to put more measures towards supporting local industry especially against unfair competition from imports.
“This time we will get raw materials locally unlike in the past where we needed to import. But we want Government to intervene on imports so that millers fully benefit and all those across value chains,” he said.
To further minimize post-harvest losses which has been hampering the sector, the government has highlighted that the menace will be a thing of the past as it will soon kick start operation of a warehouse receipt system (WRS).
The WRS which will enable farmers to store their produce will facilitate the roles of timely buying, selling.
Last season 2019/2020, Zimbabwe’s grain harvest projection was 1, 060, 142 tonnes comprising of 907, 628 tonnes of maize reflecting a 17% rise, 103, 684 tonnes of sorghum increasing by 158% from the 40, 215 tonnes achieved last season.
Pearl millet was expected to increase by 39% from the 28, 047 tonnes of last season to 39, 032 tonnes, while an increase of 41% for finger millet production to 9, 799 tonnes from 6, 947 tonnes of previous.
The estimated 1, 060, 142 tonnes of grain expected for season was not enough for human and livestock consumption as the country requires 1.7 million tonnes for human consumption and 450, 000 tonnes for livestock, with the deficient met by imports.
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