Govt requires US$60m to pay Zambian grain

Minister Made

Minister Made

Ellita Chikwati Agriculture Reporter
Government requires about US$60 million to bring in the remaining 137 000 tonnes of maize from Zambia, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made said Zimbabwe has so far paid US$10 million to Zambia and will procure more grain once funds become available.
“We have since written to the Ministry of Finance for more funds to enable the movement of grain from Zambia,” said Minister Made.
The 137 000 tonnes is part of the 150 000 tonnes of maize sourced from Zambia on a government-to-government agreement between the two countries.

Government has received 19 425 tonnes of maize out of the 150 000 tonnes.
Minister Made said the shortage of funding was affecting the payment of transporters who have been moving grain from Zambia and others who have been distributing the grain to deficit areas.

“We would like to thank the transporters who have been working with us distributing the grain to areas with food shortages,” he said.
“It is critical that they get their money for the programme to continue.”

The major areas that are in dire food shortages are Matabeleland South, Masvingo, Manicaland and southern parts of Manicaland.
Some parts of Mashonaland East and Central have also been severely affected.

Zimbabwe received poor rains last cropping season, resulting in food shortages.
Some people facing serious food shortages have had to import grain from other areas with supply while others are selling their livestock in exchange of grain.

Some livestock farmers are on the other hand buying hay from different areas to feed their livestock.

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  • Tamupa

    US$70 million for 150 000 tonnes at US$466 per tonne. A pity friendly relationships between President Sata and Mugabe didn’t allow a better price.
    According to Minister Made in the Herald yesterday, GMB has so far received 20 319 tonnes of maize from local farmers requiring US$10 million in payment, and currently only 19 425 tonnes of maize from Zambia for which US$2 million has been paid with the rest outstanding.
    However, the nation needs 1,5 million tonnes of maize between October 2013 and February 2014 to avert hunger and starvation, especially among the most vulnerable 2.2 million people at risk. That leaves a maize deficit of 1,31 million tonnes of maize over the next 5 months, with the GMB perhaps only receiving an additional paltry 60 000 tonnes from local farmers.
    Using US$460 per tonne as a price, and including US$60 million outstanding to Zambia and already US$10 million owing to farmers, Zimbabwe is required to find nearly US$700 million for mostly imports to feed the nation until February 2014, and that’s exclusively for maize, never mind other essential food-stuffs.
    Will Western donors Mugabe has been cursing at in the UN, be prepared to finance the rescue yet again?

    • Nomsa Chiga

      You have not included transport, and handling expenses.

  • Chitavati

    Notice how many photos accompanying press reports include Ministers reclining back in big leather armchairs with their hands folded. Surprising how busy they seem after “VP Mujuru reads Riot Act” during the Government strategic workshop in Harare on Wednesday?

  • Johmac

    And the maize they are buying is being produced by the very farmers that ZANU PF kicked off their land! The wheel turns as they say. So much for the “successful” land reform program.

    • Alberrt Mutasa

      There are no white farmers growing maize in zambia. Its zambians. Kana kuda varungu kwacho!

      • Nevanji

        You mean like white Zambian Vice-President Guy Scott, or white Zimbabwean farmers who have Zambian citizenship?

      • Tongo

        Point of correction, check you records. mozambique and Zambia wellcomed all the former white commercial farmers who used to do farming in Zimbabwe. Johmac is correct, part of that maize is being grown by the same farmers we chased away.

  • Mimi

    @Tamupa’s well calculated analysis of the maize situation in Zimbabwe spells doom for Zimbabwe. This is the more reason why most Zimbabweans thought that Made should have been moved from the Agriculture Ministry. If only the Zimbabwean government could opt to pay Zimbabwean farmers more for their maize deliveries, the farmers would be lured into growing maize for delivery to the GMB. As long as government pays peanuts for maize deliveries every farmer will choose to grow tobacco that is paying more on the market. It’s as simple as that. Now Zimbabwe has to import maize from Zambia of all places. It does not matter who is growing the maize in Zambia, it is the prices that are being offered by our own government that is ridiculous. Zimbabweans love their sadza and cannot do without it. With rains or not no farmer will be willing to grow maize for delivery to the GMB for a paltry fee.