Zimbabwean farmers deliver 654 000t of grain

Farmers have delivered 654 529 tonnes of different grains to the Grain Marketing Board, collectively earning over $20,9 billion. 

As of Thursday, farmers had delivered 601 395 tonnes of maize and 53 134 tonnes of traditional grains. 

This is an increase from 101 420 tonnes of maize and 4 296 tonnes of traditional grains delivered to the parastatal during the same period last year. 

According to the Mid-Term Budget and Economic Review presented by Finance and Economic Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube on Thursday, farmers had delivered 637 000 tonnes of grains by July 26. 

Of these, 567 000 tonnes were for maize, 58 000 tonnes traditional grains, 11 000 tonnes of soya beans and 661 tonnes wheat. 

Payments against these grain receipts stood at $13,3 billion, leaving a balance of $7,6 billion, which is being processed. 

Maize output for the 2020/21 cropping season is estimated at a record 2,7 million tonnes, about 193,1 percent up from 0,9 million tonnes produced in the 2019/20 season. 

The maize output will be complemented by increases in the output of other grains, which include sorghum, pearl millet and finger millet. 

This level of output surpasses the national cereal requirement of an estimated 1,8 million tonnes and 450 000 tonnes for human and livestock consumption, respectively. 

Government has designated the GMB as the sole buyer of grain and those side-marketing will be prosecuted. 

The GMB is expecting an intake of 1,9 million tonnes of grain from farmers during the 2021 grain marketing season. 

It is engaging transporters to ferry grain from collection points to the nearby depots. 

The parastatal has also increased collection points to 1 365 as part of efforts to decongest GMB depots in compliance with Covid-19 safety guidelines and to bring convenience to farmers. 

Zimbabwe is expected to harvest 2,7 million tonnes of maize during the 2020/21 summer cropping season, the highest yield in 20 years. 

A surplus of over 820 000 tonnes of cereals is expected this marketing season, the highest yield since the 2000/01 season.

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