Zim to build more silos

HARARE - The Zimbabwean government has plans to build 76 new grain silos across the country to cater for an anticipated increase in grain production.

The country currently has 12 silos that are managed by the State-run Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and have a storage capacity of about 500 000 metric tonnes.

Rabson Gumbo, a director in the Agriculture ministry, said the current capacity needs to be improved in line with a growing population, which is now estimated at about 16 million, from about seven million at independence in 1980.

Good harvests registered by the country in the past two seasons have also made it imperative for the country to expand its grain storage capacity beyond 500 000 metric tonnes.

“The last two years have seen massive increases in grain intake through the GMB, with the existing silos filled to capacity,” Gumbo told delegates at an agri-business workshop in Harare this week.

“This has given rise to the need for additional silo space by the GMB. In this regard the ministry intends to build seventy-six new sites nationally; currently we have twelve depots of which ten are concrete whilst two are metal. There is a need to build more depots with metal silos, refurbish the old silos where possible.

“The seasonal switch over from storing maize, wheat, soya beans is still posing a challenge as the three-week period is critical and must be attached to GMB dryers and own farm storage,” he said.

This comes as government has realised that losses are being incurred through inappropriate grain handling practices.

“These losses have been known to exceed 30 percent of the harvested grain, where storage pests such as the larger grain borer are involved losses can be as high as 100 percent. In appropriate storage practices also expose citizen diseases, beside hunger and income losses,” Gumbo said.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society partnered with a German firm Riela International to establish a post-harvest technology plant in Zimbabwe, which is aimed at limiting post-harvest losses affecting an estimated 30 percent of annual yields.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, 30 percent of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted along the supply chain every year. This is a whopping 1,3 billion metric tons of food that doesn’t ever reach the consumer. Some reports have estimated that this lost or wasted food could be used to feed 1,6 billion people every year.

In Africa, the losses are even higher ranging between 30 and 50 percent. They occur mainly downstream, between the production and retail stages of the supply chain. Fruit and vegetable losses are estimated to be 50 percent or more.

This estimate is cumulative because losses occur at every stage of the supply chain – from production to the consumption. Losses at the farm level can be attributed to poor harvest practices and poor handling.

Comments (1)

Afternoon, I am Yolandi Grobler from Lau-Lynn Leather, we manufacture all two way radio Leather Carry Cases and Harnesses. Please visit our website or contact me on 011 814 2417

Yolandi Grobler - 7 March 2019

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.