Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
The maize producer price for the 2016 to 2017 summer cropping season will remain unchanged at $390 per tonne, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made has said. Dr Made said this in Parliament on Wednesday while responding to a question by Shamva South representative Cde Joseph Mapiki on GMB’s preparedness to handle grain delivered by farmers.
“When we buy maize from the farmers, we will be buying small grains as well.
“The price will be the same as the previous season, which US$390 per tonne,” Dr Made said. He also said farmers would be required to have bank accounts to expedite payment of grain delivered.
“In terms of buying maize from the farmers, what is important is that every farmer who is going to sell his or her produce to GMB should have a bank account. Once he/she delivers the maize to GMB, the money is transferred into the account. We want also to open up satellite points that will enable farmers to access the GMB than travelling long distances to take their produce to GMB,” Dr Made said.
The minister also said GMB had already started refurbishing silos at its depots across the country to ensure safe keeping of grain delivered.
“On the concrete built silos, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) is in the process of ensuring that those silos do not have leakages and no moisture can affect the produce.
“There are machines that are there to ensure that the maize remains safe in those silos.
“So, the Government has taken action to ensure that those silos are well maintained. Secondly, we have companies, mostly the millers who buy maize from GMB. Some of them have promised that they want to work with GMB to ensure that our silos are adequately maintained,” he said.
The GMB yesterday floated a tender inviting bids for the mechanical and electrical rehabilitation of its silos at 12 depots countrywide.
The depots are at Murewa, Aspindale, Concession, Chiweshe, Banket, Lionsden, Karoi, Magunje, Norton, Chegutu and Bulawayo.
Site visits will be held at the depots from March 6 to March 14.
“Details of the tender shall be contained in the request for proposal obtainable from the GMB Head Office Procurement Department situated at 179-187 Samora Machel Avenue in Harare upon payment of $80 non-refundable fee,” reads a notice published in the Government Gazette yesterday.
The closing date for the submission of bids is April 4.
The good rains received this cropping season have raised prospects of bumper harvest with the country expected to be self sufficient this year.