GMB to clear farmers’ debt

RYAN CHIGOCHE

 

The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has promised to clear close to ZWL$3bn arrears owed to farmers who delivered grain to the parastatal this month, Business Times can report.

Government had assured farmers that payment will be done within 72 hours of delivery.

But, that has not been happening.

As of August 29, 2021, GMB had 824 000 metric tonnes, compared to 129 000 metric tonnes delivered in the same period last year.

GMB Corporate communications officer Nixon Kanyemba told Business Times that the parastatal will clear the backlog by early September.

“As at 29 August 2021, the GMB had an outstanding Z$2.7bn to pay farmers, which is, within our one-week window period,” Kanyemba said.

This development comes as a relief to farmers who are ramping up preparations for the forthcoming farming season.

Some of the farmers delivered their grain at buying points as early as June 2021 and their payments have already been eroded due to rising exchange rate, especially on the parallel market.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Shadreck Makombe said farmers had been paid their dues.

“Yes GMB had challenges to pay the farmers but not anymore, currently, they have the money to pay hence the farmers are being paid accordingly,” he said

In March this year, the government announced the maize producer price of $32 000 per tonne, with Finance and Economic Minister, Mthuli Ncube pledging to provide ZWL$$60bn to GMB to enable the parastatal to pay for this year’s grain deliveries.

Zimbabwe is expecting delivery of more than 3.1m metric tonnes of maize this season.

 

 

 

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