75 000 tonnes of grain damaged at GMB

HARARE - Zimbabwe has lost tens of thousands tonnes of maize grain at its Grain Marketing Board (GMB) silos which remain empty while citizens face starvation.

According to documents in possession of the Daily News, the GMB has written off 75 000 tonnes of maize grain from 2011 to 2012, with the bulk of the maize having been water damaged.

Multiple certificates were issued by GMB, which is charged with grain procurement and securing reserves, after the grain reserve was damaged.

Albert Mandizha, GMB general manager, admitted to the Daily News that the silos were empty, but said damaged grain was not a new development.

“I am surprised there is any damaged grain to talk about at the moment because we do not have any grain,” he said referring further questions to the corporate communications manager Muriel Zemura.

A former bread basket of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe is currently spending millions in grain importation from neighbouring Zambia, whilst farmers are turning to tobacco farming due to its financial rewards.

According to government, an order of 150 000 tonnes has been placed from Zambia as part of an effort to plug a grain deficit.

“There is no rotten or under-grade maize at our depots,” Zemura said. “The maize being distributed under the grain loan scheme is quality imported maize from Zambia and deliveries from local Zimbabwean farmers.

“Other than imports by government from Zambia, other players in the industry are also importing grain for their own production purposes. There is natural deterioration of maize after three years depending on the storage conditions. This is not a loss to the company as it actually becomes expensive to continue to keep it and fumigating it instead of disposing it to stock feed users.”

The 75 000 tonnes of grain was damaged through rot, moisture and termite damage.

“Under normal circumstances this grain should have been kept securely for cases of emergency, now we have nothing in the reserves because the grain was not managed well,” said a source at the GMB.

More than 2,2 million people in Zimbabwe’s 10 political provinces are facing famine, according to the recent United Nations statistics.

Comments (7)

This is the first time in the history of that institution to have so much grain being written off - $25 million worth of grain. Its scandalous, grain can be stored in open stacks for more than 3 years and still remain good. The problem at the GMB is that people with the technical capacity to manage failing storage infrastructure left and research sections which used to deal with these issues are underfunded and poorly manned. Selling damaged grain as stock feed is also not allowed any way in the world. It will be interesting to know to whom this grain was sold to and at what price.

chemedzanemburungwe - 8 October 2013

"The 75 000 thousand tons was damaged through rot.." very good in fact very very good sir and nobody who was and is still drawing a check is to blame..now this translates to 22.5 million dollars, small change for the most successful parastatal in the land. Did the GM make sure the culprit was fired...wait for it did you say he was promoted? Very good sir, very very good sir. Of course the companies producing tarpaulins to cover these grains have all closed, shame! Is there another coming instalment of same and should we stay on in the cinema or you have sewn that end up. You dont have to answer this.

gutter poet - 8 October 2013

poor management brings with it gross negligence. if we used to import and managed to feed our own, what's different now. it should be easier to manage what you got

atz - 8 October 2013

what ! irrigate with Rainflo Technology (Pvt) Ltd rainflotech@yahoo.com

conerned - 8 October 2013

The Minister of Grain whatever it is that is Must fire the GMB management.

Squarebasher - 8 October 2013

TIBVIREYI APA 75 000 IS JUST A VERY VERY SMALL FRACTION OF WHAT GMB HANDLES, THIS IS A CUMMULATIVE FIGURE FRO ALL DEPOTS LEAVE MANDIZHA ALONE BITI REFUSED WITH THE MONEY TO REPARE THE SILOS, THIS ONLY HAPPENED DURING THE INCLUSSIVE GVT RUBBISH BITI CHICHIRAMBA WITH CASH AS IF NDEYAKE ALL FARMERS WONT FORGIVE BITI AND MDC. MDC WILL NEVER GET A VOTE FROM A FARMER. EVEN A HOZI KUMUSHA IS REPARED ANNUALLY OR BI-ANNUALY BUT BITI FOR FOUR YEARS DIDNT REALISE THATTHE NATIONAL GRANNERY NEEDS TO BE REPARED SILLY MINISTER, THE WESTE EVER, SILLY REPORTER, SILLY COMMENTS , DAILYNEWS PAPPETS,

nhirab1 - 9 October 2013

@Nhirabi- do you always shout as louldy as you write? By the way 75 000 tons is the equivalent of 75 million kgs or 15 millon 5kg packs of food. Now considering an adult needs about 300 grams per one meal seating this translates to 16 meals per 5kg pack or 8 days, try and keep up. (1 kg is 3 meals)..so in essence what we lost was 75 million multiplied by three meals or 225 meals or 112.5 million meal days per person...Go on no need to weep. Now if there are 11 million of us eating maize meal this becomes if divide the meal days by the population it gives you 10 days of happy 2 meals per person per day and you sir are telling me it does not count? What is the name of this mysterious way of counting that you have invented???

gutter poet - 9 October 2013

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