Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) expects to pay wheat farmers 80 percent in US dollars following a bumper harvest of the crop and suspension of the Intermediated Money Transfer Tax (IMTT) for payments to farmers up to the end of March next year, GMAZ chairperson Mr Tafadzwa Musarara has said.
The country expects to harvest at least 380 000 tonnes of wheat this year.
Addressing a post-budget seminar, Mr Musarara said the private sector was, therefore expected to participate in the mobilisation of funds for the off-taking of this wheat.
“We welcome the suspension of the IMTT tax by the Minister of Finance of four percent on foreign currency transactions and two percent on local currency, in fact we anticipate that 80 percent of our payments to wheat farmers would be in US dollars to assist them settle their obligations with contractors which are 100 percent in US dollars,” he said.
The suspension of the IMTT was backdated from September 1 and will end on March 30 and Mr Musarara said the period would also assist them mobilise resources to pay the farmers.
He added that combined with interest on borrowing from banks, the IMTT was a burden to millers but commended the collaboration between Government and the private sector in funding this year’s wheat production.
“The 2022 is the biggest import substitution programme funded jointly by Government and the private sector since 1980. When we have been expected to spend US$300 million on wheat imports, we have internalised that Bill so the multiplier effect of that is we are promoting manufacturers of inputs, labour and all other industries that have participated in that,” he said.
Mr Musarara also welcomed the reinstatement of duty on basic commodities saying it would improve their viability and enable them buy whatever would have been grown by farmers.
The GMAZ has 108 members who are into production and processing of basic commodities like flour, cooking oil, mealie meal, salt, rice and stock feed among others.