Brenda Ziga Herald Reporter
Private grain millers have so far imported 450 000 tonnes of maize since January to meet the requirements of consumers, mainly in the urban markets.
Grain Millers’ Association Chairman Mr Tafadzwa Musarara told The Herald that private grain millers were buying maize from different countries.
“Private grain millers have imported almost 450 000 tonnes from Mexico, Ukraine and Zambia.
“They have imported 280 000 tonnes from Mexico, 120 000 from Ukraine and 48 900 tonnes from Zambia,” he said.
Meanwhile, private grain millers started buying maize from local farmers FOR between $330 and $350 per tonne.
Mr Musarara said the private grain millers were aiming to buy 200 000 tonnes of grain from local farmers in the next three months.
“We are aiming to buy about 200 000 tonnes of grain from our local farmers in the next three months starting from July.
“We have set up about 300 collection points countrywide for the convenience of our farmers,” he said.
He said the private grain millers have so far bought 43 000 tonnes of maize from local farmers.
“GMAZ membership has currently bought 43 000 tonnes from local farmers. Much of the maize is still currently above 13 percent moisture content and we are waiting for it to dry and drop its moisture content so that we continue to buy,” he said.
Mr Musarara said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) agreed to provide adequate cash to meet grain purchases at a time when there would be cash challenges.
“We will be paying $330 to $350 per tonne, and we are now ready to buy as much maize as available. We have met the RBZ governor who has agreed to give us cash to pay in some appropriate instances where we pay cash. However, we will also pay through mobile money transfers and for bigger suppliers, we will use RTGs,” said Mr Musarara.
The move by GMAZ will assist farmers who are in need of cash to buy inputs earlier for preparations for the 2016/17 summer cropping season.
Recently, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said Government imported over 100 000 tonnes of maize worth $12,7 million since last October under the drought relief programme.