AMA to float $80 million bills for maize purchase

AMA to float $80 million bills for maize purchase
Published: 19 July 2017
THE Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) plans to float $80 million worth of bills to finance the buying of local maize for the 2017 season.

During the same period last year, AMA floated an additional $50 million bills for the 2016 maize purchase after the authority settled $12 million worth of AMA bonds in May.

In a joint statement, AMA and CBZ Holdings said investors were being invited to subscribe for the bills.

"AMA intends to issue bills of up to $80 million to finance the purchase of maize for the 2017 buying season through the Grain Marketing Board. CBZ Holdings Limited, as the financial advisor, hereby invites investors including, but not limited to, pension and provident funds, insurance companies, life mutual, commercial banks and other interested institutions as well as individuals to subscribe for AMA bills," it said.

The $80 million bills would be issued starting on July 24, at an interest rate of 7.5 percent per annum. The bills also carry a tenor of 360 days from the first day of allotment. Special features of the bills are a prescribed asset status, liquid asset status and tax exemption status. In terms of security, the bills are guaranteed by the Government.

"The information memorandum and documents relating to the special features listed above can be inspected at CBZ Holdings, Structured Trade                   Finance Department in Harare," reads part of the statement.

The move is expected to bolster the successful 2016/17 summer cropping season under the Government's Command Agriculture programme that seeks to ensure increased grain production mostly maize so as to ensure food security.

Following the good rains the country received in the last farming season, the country expects a bumper harvest coming out from successive droughts over the years.

The country expects a maize harvest of about 2.7 million tonnes this year. Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister responsible for crop production, Davis Marapira, last week reported that over 160 000 tonnes of maize have already been delivered so far to the GMB across the country.

In total, about 1 770 389 hectares were put under maize during the 2016/17 summer cropping season, with anticipated maize yields of over two million tonnes. This, together with small grains, should give over 2.7 million tonnes of grain this year, well above the national requirements of 1.8 million tonnes, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Developments said in its Treasury Quarterly Bulletin: January-March 2017.

The Government and its private sector partners are already rolling out a Special Winter Wheat Production programme similar to that of maize in an attempt to reduce wheat imports.

The programme is targeting 70 000 hectares at average yields of five tonnes per hectare and already 881 farmers with a hectorage of more than 56 000 hectares having been registered.

In addition, private financiers have contracted over 14 000 hectares for this season's winter wheat crop. As a result wheat output is expected to surpass 280 000 tonnes this season and this will go a long way towards reducing imports, and thus saving Zimbabwe's foreign currency.
- zimpapers
Tags: AMA,


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