Farmers urged to deliver maize to GMB

HARARE - The 2018/19 maize marketing season kicked off on April 1, with the Grain Marketing Board urging farmers to deliver grain to all GMB depots that are ready to receive grain crops.

The summer cropping season ended on March 31 and harvesting of the early-planted maize crop has already started in some areas, while the late-planted crops are expected to have a later harvest.

Maize production prospects for the 2017/18 cropping season remain below average mainly as a result of abnormal dryness in December and January. 

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fewsnet) reports that production prospects for maize and other crops for the 2018 harvest are below average in most areas due to the prolonged dry spell in December and January, among other factors. In some southern areas, anticipated harvests will be very low, and some households are expected to have no harvests.

The country’s maize price is expected to remain at $390 per tonne which is about 30 percent higher than prevailing regional market prices of $290 per tonne.

In a statement, the GMB urged farmers to deliver their maize and small grains directly to all GMB depots.

“Grains should be adequately dried to required moisture levels of 12, 5 percent, soya beans and sugar beans moisture levels should be 11 percent,” GMB said.

Government is currently reviewing the price of soya beans which is pegged at $610 per tonne, with farmers expecting the 2018 price to reach $750 per tonne. Prices from Zambia show that the crop is being sold at $400 to $430 per tonne. Some pre-harvest contract prices were however around $380 per tonne.

The grain buyer called on farmers and its employees to desist from engaging in corrupt activities.

“Farmers are discouraged from engaging in corruption and underhand dealings with employees at grading and moisture testing rooms. This is not allowed and if proved, law enforcement agents will be engaged,” GMB said.

The government has extended the 2017 restrictions put in place to prevent private merchants or traders from buying maize directly from farmers.

Millers have been buying grain at a subsidized price of $240 -$270 per tonne.

— The Financial Gazette

Comments (1)

When are the Gmb depots open for maize deliveries

VICTOR MATOPE - 26 June 2018

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