HARARE, August 23 (The Source) – Maize deliveries to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) for the 2016/17 farming season have exceeded half a million tonnes, an official said on Wednesday.
In a speech read on his behalf at an agribusiness conference on Wednesday Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa said maize deliveries were ongoing and the GMB was running out of storage space.
“So far, maize deliveries to the GMB have already surpassed half a million tonnes. Deliveries are on-going. Some GMB silos are already full and maize is being moved to the other GMB silos across the country,” he said.
GMB is paying $390 per tonne of maize, significantly higher than regional prices for the grain. In April Mnangagwa said government had secured funds enough to pay for 1.3 million tonnes of grain.
Zimbabwe is expecting to harvest more than two million tonnes of grain, which is more than enough to meet the country’s demand estimated at 1.8 million tonnes.
The country has in previous seasons failed to produce enough of the staple maize crop since a chaotic land redistribution exercise at the turn of the millennium.
An El Nino induced drought cut output by more than 50 percent In the 2015/16 farming season leaving over four million people in the southern African country in need of food aid.