Maize deliveries pour in

Maize deliveries pour in
Published: 25 July 2017
THE Grain Marketing Board is receiving an average 90 000 tonnes of maize a week with Government yesterday saying deliveries were fast approaching the 500 000 tonnes required for the Strategy Grain Reserve.

The country must at any given time have 500 000 tonnes of maize in SGR.

Zimbabwe is expected to harvest four million tonnes of food crops from the 2016-17 agricultural season of which 2,1 million is maize.

Other crops include sorghum, millet, roundnuts, groundnuts, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, cowpeas, squash, sugarbeans and pumpkins.

The increase in food production has been attributed to the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme and Command Agriculture programme, good rains and hard work by farmers.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister, Dr Joseph Made yesterday confirmed the increase in grain deliveries.

He said the cylindrical silos would soon be full. At the moment most of the grain is coming from A2 farmers.

The cylindrical silos have a capacity of 700 000 tonnes of grain while the hard stands can accommodate 3, 3 million tonnes.

"The weekly delivery of 90 000 tonnes is going to be surpassed as the current deliveries are still mainly from A2 farmers but soon it will be a combination of communal, A1, Old resettlement and small scale commercial sectors. These farmers are now busy preparing to shell their crops.

"The SGR figures are also going up. Very soon SGR will reach 500 000. On the ground cylindrical silos which cater for 700 000 tonnes are getting full which means we have to switch to the hard stand silos.

"This means GMB must now re-engage on a contract basis the workers who were laid off so that the depots that handle the hard stand crop can be manned," he said.

Dr Made said activity at the GMB depots was going to intensify as the depots were also going to handle inputs for the Presidential Inputs Scheme.

"There will be a lot of work at the current and satellite depots. We gave a directive to the GMB chairman to speed up the setting of satellite depots now that we are handling Presidential inputs. Cotton inputs under the Presidential Inputs Scheme are also being moved to various depots.

"I am happy because the GMB has taken heed of instructions that all depots should remain open until all deliveries are cleared. I do not expect any farmers to be turned back," he said.

Dr Made said activity was going to increase at Bulawayo GMB as grain from the northern parts of the country will be moved to the area.

"This means more employment in Bulawayo. We are going to intensify the work because there are three activities to happen in Bulawayo concerning GMB, Cotton Company of Zimbabwe and Cold Storage Company.

"With the CSC we are going to have two entities; Cold Storage Company and the Cold Storage Commission. We are going to re-establish the commission along with the Cotton Marketing Board and Dairy Marketing Board because these are strategic activities.

"People should not be speculative about their opinions as the Ministry of Agriculture is going to be working in relationship to the instructions of the food security and nutrition cluster because of the livestock, fisheries and wildlife Command programme," he said.

He said already there was a financier for the CSC on the issue of abattoir.

"The Cold Storage Commission has to play a strategic role in the same manner as the GMB, Tobacco industry and Marketing board, Pig Industry Board and Cotton Marketing Board.

"There is a major work relating to the re-establishment of the commission in relationship to livestock, fisheries and wildlife slaughter and marketing domestically, regionally and internationally. There is a relationship between these entities particularly the commodities of grain, cotton and other oil seeds because there must be sufficient stock feeds.

"There should be sufficient work done in terms of producing crops and producing livestock," he said.

He said it was important that the entities once operated and there were lot of human resource capacity, industrial base to be resuscitated and employment that should be created for farmers, women and youths.

"These entities are strategic in all provinces but more important in Bulawayo. Bulawayo is also the gateway in terms of export strategies. We anticipate the resuscitation of the railway.

"Bulawayo and Gweru are strategic areas for positioning our entities in that part of the country such as stockfeeds and the milling industry. We can export grain, mealie meal or grain in any form. This is strategic going north of the region or sub region.

"Nobody should jump the gun or speculating on the structure of the institutions. We are doing a lot of work on the institutions. The re-establishment of the boards is to is to make sure that we secure a capacity to have farmers have marketing channels and paying the investors, financiers.

"It also gives us the opportunity to re-establish Government monopoly in a positive sense of saving famers produce and assuring supply to agro processors," he said.
- zimpapers
Tags: Maize,


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