Agriculture runs $120m budget deficit

HARARE - Although Zimbabwe experienced improved harvest due to Command Agriculture, estimates suggest that government budget deficit will increase by nearly $120m this year due to a maize subsidy.

At least 45 000 farmers have registered for maize and soya bean production under Command Agriculture programme as preparations for the 2017/2018 summer cropping season gather momentum.

So far this year, the GMB has received over 500 000 tonnes of maize from farmers who benefited under Command Agriculture and the Presidential Input Scheme. GMB is buying at $390/t which is considered high.

The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe, a grouping of the 100 biggest private millers, has agreed to buy 800 000 tonnes of maize from the state for $194 million this season, or $242,50 a tonne.

Oil producers have agreed to buy soya bean produced locally at $500 per tonne as part of efforts to promote local production.



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