Murehwa farmers resort to barter trade

Farmers here have resorted to selling their maize at a pathetic price of $2 a bucket amid concerns that the Grain Marketing Board is giving them a raw deal.

They told The Zimbabwean it was better to sell their maize at $2 rather than have their money tied up by the GMB “who take forever to pay.

“Last season, GMB paid us very late and also a pathetic amount for our maize. We ended up regretting taking our maize there,” said Gogo Sheila Matake (62).

She said traders, mostly from Harare, offered food and clothes in exchange for maize.

Fibeon Mwayera from Ward 13 in Murehwa said he decided to sell his maize after realising that failure to do so would see his crop destroyed by pests.

“Storing the maize is a challenge since I cannot afford the chemicals that safeguard my crop from being eaten by pests. It is wiser for me to sell my maize now,” he said.

Maria Ruchima (32) from Budiriro 5 said she had acquired almost two tonnes of maize from barter trade with the Murehwa farmers.

“I take clothes and sometimes foodstuff to the farmers and they give me maize. For example, I give a farmer an empty 20 litre bucket and they give me one and half buckets of maize,” said Ruchima.

“I then transport the maize to Harare at night because to do this during the day is very expensive as the police harass us and we end up paying them bribes at every roadblock,” she said. “I sell the maize at $4 a bucket and that is how I make my living.”

Post published in: Agriculture

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