Elita Chikwati-Agriculture Reporter
Farmers have delivered over 30 000 tonnes of maize to Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots as the parastatal has now joined hands with police in manning roadblocks along major roads to curb illegal movement of grain.
Maize and soya beans are controlled products whose movement is restricted and should only be sold to the GMB or a registered contractor and any engagements with other players is not allowed.
GMB chief executive Mr Rockie Mutenha yesterday said by Wednesday, farmers had delivered 30 182 tonnes compared to 9 216 tonnes during the same period last year.
The parastatal has also received 1 306 tonnes of traditional grains.
During the corresponding period last year, farmers had delivered 54 tonnes of traditional grains.
“We encourage beneficiaries of Pfumvudza to start delivering their crops,” he said.
All the 2,5 million beneficiaries of the Pfumvudza programme were urged to deliver surplus to GMB.
On enforcing the Statutory Instrument on controlled crops, Mr Mutenha said authorised people will enforce provisions of the GMB Act.
“An individual is only allowed to ferry five bags of maize and three bags of soya beans for personal use. For larger quantities, individuals or corporates will be required to have a valid movement permit issued by the GMB.
“The police and authorised persons shall enforce provisions of the GMB Act. The GMB deploys inspectors to act as authorised persons,” said Mr Mutenha.
Government introduced Statutory Instrument 145 of 2019 for the control of sale of maize and Statutory Instrument 97 for the control of soya beans.
All 87 GMB depots are open seven days a week while the more than 1 300 collection points will also be operational for the convenience of farmers.
Pre-delivery quality testing of the grain will be done free of charge at any nearest GMB depot.
This includes a moisture test.
GMB only accepts maize with a moisture content of 12,5 percent.
The parastatal’s staff will also be visiting farmers to do quality checks before the maize is delivered to ensure conformity.
Government has availed combine harvesters through the newly established Agricultural Finance Corporation Leasing Company, which farmers have been urged to take advantage of, especially wheat farmers.
Zimbabwe expects to harvest 2,7 million tonnes of maize during the 2020/21 summer cropping season.
The output is three times last season’s output on the back of good rainfall across the country.
Last year, the maize harvest was 900 000 tonnes, which is half the annual requirement for human and stock feed requirements.
However, the good rains, coupled with early distribution of inputs especially under Government supported programmes such as Pfumvudza and Command Agriculture, contributed to the expected high yield.