Elita Chikwati-Agriculture Reporter
All 2,5 million households that benefited from the Climate Proofed Presidential Inputs Scheme, popularly known as Pfumvudza/Intwasa, must sell the grain they do not retain for own consumption to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), the Government has reminded farmers.
Side-marketing has long been banned for maize, and this ban has now been extended to soya beans and cotton.
Pfumvudza/Intwasa is a contract arrangement, giving inputs on credit with allowances made for on-farm retention of required quantities and the sale of the rest to the GMB to reimburse the value of the inputs and give the farmers the rest in cash.
GMB has already started receiving grain from farmers with over 5 500 tonnes having been delivered to the parastatal.
CBZ Agro Yield supported farmers are also required to deliver their maize and soya beans to GMB.
Government has deployed monitors to bring perpetrators, both farmers and buyers to book.
Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Anxious Masuka yesterday said: “As of April 21, the GMB has already received 5 527 tonnes of maize, 626 tonnes of soyabean and 22 tonnes of traditional grains. This is almost double of what had been received by GMB during the same period last year.
“In terms of the SI 145 of 2019 for maize, SI 96 of 2021 for cotton and SI 97 of 2021 for soyabean, all maize, cotton and soyabean are controlled products whose movement is restricted. The commodities must be delivered to designated contractors. According to law, any side marketing of contracted commodities shall attract penalties.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all the 2,5 million households contracted under the Climate proofed Presidential Inputs Scheme (Pfumvudza/Intwasa) must deliver all their surplus to the GMB. All CBZ Agro-Yield supported farmers must deliver their maize and soyabean to the GMB,” said Minister Masuka.
GMB is buying maize at $32 000 per tonne, traditional grains 38 000 per tonne and soyabean at $48 000 per tonne.
Farmers who deliver grain to GMB depots will be paid in 72 hours while those delivering to collection points will be paid in five working days. A total of 1 389 buying points have been identified for the convenience of farmers, said Minister Masoka, adding that a further 400 collection points are being identified.
The target is to establish 1 800 buying points countrywide, with one in each ward.
The points will be activated soon to receive additional maize and grains.
Minister Masuka said pre-delivery quality testing of the grain, including moisture test, will be done for free at any nearest GMB depot.
GMB is only accepting grain with a moisture content of 12,5 percent. Dryers had been strategically located to assist farmers while GMB staff will be visiting farmers for quality checks before the maize is delivered to ensure conformity.
Government has also availed combine harvesters, through the newly established Agricultural Finance Corporation Leasing company, which farmers should take advantage of especially wheat farmers.