GMB ordered to pay farmers

GMB ordered to pay farmers
Published: 19 September 2017
The Government has directed the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to immediately activate satellite collection points to mop up the remaining grain as the Strategic Grain Reserve has hit a million tonnes.

The GMB has further been directed to work round the clock to facilitate speedy payment of farmers.

This comes as the Government has already started dispatching inputs to GMB depots across the country for the next summer cropping season.

The GMB is expected to play a central role in the distribution of inputs under an expanded Presidential Inputs Scheme targeting 1.8 million households countrywide compared to last year's 800 000 households.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made said the satellite collection points were expected to speed up collection of the remaining grain before the onset of summer cropping season.

"For the Strategic Grain Reserve we have surpassed the one million tonne mark of maize. With this milestone, we know that the bulk of grain is still to be delivered from our small farmers," said Dr Made.

"We have small farmers who are bringing in their grain but the bulk of the maize has been coming from farmers contracted under Command Agriculture and commercial operations."

To assist the small farmers, the GMB is expected to immediately establish satellite collection points and facilitate grain movement to its depots.

"From today (Sunday), GMB shall ensure that satellite depots are opened. This is the position of Cabinet and this is what is expected to be done," said Dr Made.

"This means that grain will be collected from small farmers wherever it is gathered. It is the responsibility of GMB to pick that grain to their depots. I hope this position is very clear."

He said provincial leaders would help to identify collection points closest to the people.

He said to ensure all farmers were paid on time, GMB payment teams would work round the clock.

Said Dr Made: "All farmers from today, shall be paid. If it takes 24 hours, 76 hours, let it be. It means payment teams from GMB will work round the clock. It means work and that is a directive from Cabinet at its last sitting."

The minister assured farmers the GMB would continue to pay the gazetted $390.

This follows reports that transporters were misleading farmers that the selling price would soon be reduced if they did not deliver their grain now.

He said farmers could sell their grain whenever they wanted at the gazetted price.

For the coming season, Cabinet has approved free inputs under the Presidential Inputs Scheme for 1,8 million households and the GMB shall facilitate the distribution of maize, small grains and soya beans.

"GMB shall distribute the inputs to every farmer at the nearest point possible. If you are a Member of Parliament or a councillor, do not mislead people that you are going to get them vouchers. This season, there is not going to be a voucher system. Farmers shall go to the nearest point," he said.

This means that extension workers would no longer facilitate the acquisition of inputs.

He said the GMB should ensure systems were in place to curb double dipping.

In the last three months, Government has been dispatching inputs such as Compound D and Ammonium Nitrate to GMB depots across the country.

Seed is expected to start being delivered to the depots from this week.

The GMB is expected to recruit more temporary labour to help in inputs distribution and collection of grain.

Dr Made said the GMB would recall some of the laid off workers in partnership with the Ministry of Youth Empowerment and Economic Development.

"We have calculated as Government that we have 1,8 million households across the country. Every household should get its inputs for maize and small grain. They are then expected to get inputs for soya beans. This is one component that President Mugabe has added to the Presidential Inputs Scheme," said Dr Made.

At least 400 000 households have been earmarked for the cotton programme under the Presidential Inputs Scheme on a first come, first served basis.

The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe is expected to play a leading in the implementation of the programme.
- chronicle
Tags: GMB,


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