The Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) says it has so far raised an additional $5 million through a second issue of agro bills floated to secure funds for the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to pay farmers for grain and wheat that they delivered.
In the first issue of agro bills floated last year, AMA managed to raise $53,6 million but this was not enough to pay for grain deliveries.
AMA chief executive officer Mr Rockie Mutenha said the first bills attracted a lot of deliveries from farmers to an extent that the GMB received 220 000 metric tonnes of maize but the $53 million only managed to pay for slightly above 50 percent of the maize that was delivered.
“We were requested by Government to go back into the market to raise more funds because there was an outstanding balance of $47 million which was supposed to be paid to the farmers who delivered maize and wheat,” he said.
“So we floated another bill for $50 million and right now we are on the market trying to raise the money, so far we have raised about $5 million which we have given to the GMB to pay farmers, this will mature in September of 2015.”
Floating of agro bills has assisted the GMB to keep up with payments to farmers in recent years and analysts contend that this will contribute to revival of the agriculture sector.
The GMB has over the years battled to pay farmers on time for grain deliveries
Zimbabwe requires between 1,8 million and 2 million metric tonnes of maize annually to meet human and livestock requirements.
However, due to drought and lack of funding, the country has, for the past few years, been forced to import grain to meet the national requirements. —New Ziana.