Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister, Anxious Masuka, has informed the National Assembly that farmers in the country have received $18 billion after delivering 570,000 tonnes of grain to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
Masuka says maize contributed the bulk of the grains delivered with farmers delivering approximately 500,000 tonnes while the rest comprised of small grains.
The Minister says due to the increased volume in deliveries, delays were being experienced in payment in some instances with up to a week delay in payments.
The GMB currently owes farmers $2.5 billion in outstanding payments.
The parastatal pledged to pay farmers within 24 hours of delivering grain to their depots at the commencement of the marketing season.
The GMB is expecting to procure 1.8 million tonnes of maize and 200,000 tonnes of traditional grains, thus making 2 million tonnes of grains.
Zimbabwe expects a bumper harvest of over 2.7 million tonnes of maize this season, implying a surplus of 1.2 million tonnes after all local demand including that of the farmers’ families is met. The parastatal is buying maize at $32,000 per tonne and traditional grains at $38,000 per tonne.
The good rains received last season, Pfumvudza/Intwasa farming concept and the early distribution of inputs have been factored in the bumper harvest.
Masuka added that Government is working onerously to clear the $1.5 billion owed to cotton farmers from last year’s marketing season.
This year, Zimbabwe expects 150,000 tonnes of cotton. Cotton farmers delivered over 70,000 tonnes of the crop last year due to improvement in government support. The central bank has provided $5 billion and US$10 million guarantees to Cottco to ensure the company clears its obligations to farmers.
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