Metbank clinches $8m silo deal

HARARE - The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has appointed Metbank as its financial advisor on the $8 million deal aimed at refurbishing the country’s granaries.

This also comes as the locally-owned bank has successfully arranged a $20 million facility to capacitate Windmill Fertiliser Company and fund commodity imports for the 2016/2017 agricultural season.

GMAZ chairman Tafadzwa Musarara yesterday said Metbank’s role will be to conduit funds of the facility for its intended purposes, negotiate financial terms and ensure the successful performance of the facility.

“Financial advisors will also be responsible in the procurement of Nostro currency for GMAZ members for both outstanding payments and future shipments of mainly wheat and rice,” he said.

The GMAZ boss said his organisation took confidence in Metbank’s recent tremendous performance in providing critical financial services to the current farming season.

Zimbabwe’s agriculture sector is expected to grow by 12 percent this year buoyed by the expected bumper harvest, with early projections showing the country could produce over 2,8 million tonnes of cereals and other food crops.

This was after the government introduced Command Agriculture this farming season which saw the State providing farmers with inputs such as seed, fertiliser and fuel, resulting in the total area under maize increasing by 52 percent from 1 161 997 hectares in 2015/2016 season to 1 770 389 hectares in the current season.

“This positive development has saved the country $350 million, qualifying this current season as the biggest single import substitution activity since independence,” Musarara said.

On its part, the GMAZ has committed to off-take 800 000 tonnes of maize from the Command Agriculture programme.

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