Ama Raises $75m for Grain Procurement

The Agricultural Marketing Authority has raised $75 million for grain procurement after the agro-bills it issued last month were fully subscribed, an official said.

Analysts said the overwhelming response is largely attributed to growing appetite for such instruments in light of perceived uncertainty over Zimbabwe’s currency reforms.

AMA, through CBZ Bank issued the bonds on September 13 and were all subscribed by the third day.

The agro bills are meant for purchasing maize and are guaranteed by the Government.

The AMA Bills have a tenor of 360 days from the first day of allotment while interest rate is pegged at 7percent per annum.

They also have special features, which include prescribed asset status, liquid asset status and tax exemption status.

“The response was very overwhelming,” said AMA official who declined to be identified because he is not authorised to talk to the media. “The money would be used to pay for grain deliveries to the Grain Marketing Board-both maize and wheat.”

Unlike in previous years where the GMB would take several months before paying for grain deliveries, farmers are receiving payments within a week, Mr Rock Mutenha, the GMB general manager said this week.

During the current marketing season, farmers have so delivered 1,1 million tonnes of maize to the GMB, guaranteeing the nation of adequate supplies of the staple until the next harvest.

The GMB is buying maize at $390 per tonnes.

It is also paying the same price for, red sorghum, white sorghum, rapoko and millet. Since the turn of the millennium, Zimbabwe relied on maize imports and food aid to argument local production, but through the Command Agriculture – a government programme meant to assist farmers with inputs – local maize production has significantly increased.

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