GMB records high maize deliveries but farmers desperate for payment

food_aidBULAWAYO - The countrys grain parastatal has recorded an increase in maize deliveries, statistics reveal. Grain Marketing Board (GMB) corporate communications manager, Muriel Zemura, said the surge saw a 500 percent increase in maize deliveries compared to the same period last year.

The GMB has been recording high volumes of maize deliveries throughout the country recently and its cumulative local grain deliveries as at 23 July, 2010 stood at 58 826 tonnes, said Zemura.

This is more than 500 percent of the grain that was delivered during the same period last year. As of last year, GMB had received a paltry 11 009 tonnes.

Zemura said weekly average deliveries of maize had doubled from 4 000 to 8 000 tonnes since the Government reviewed the producer prices from US$265 to US$275 per tonne with effect from 1 April.

It is critical to note that payments are triggered by deliveries, said Zemura.

Zemura said the Government has released US$2,7 million for grain payments.

The money was released a fortnight ago.

This money is being disbursed to farmers who delivered maize from 4 May to 18 June. Farmers are collecting their money from their respective depots and no payments are being made at head office, Dura Building, said Zemura.

An additional funding for deliveries made between 19 June to 23 July of 43 896mt valued at US$12 071 400 is now urgently required since farmers are now desperate.

Government recently paid US$2.7 million to the GMB after it was threatened with court action over late payment to farmers for their maize deliveries.

Farmers had also stopped maize deliveries to the grain parastatal, which has been earmarked for privatization in a bid to turn around its fortunes.

Post published in: Economy

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