The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has appointed Metbank Limited as its financial advisor on its $8 million silo facility meant to fund the rehabilitation and repair of the Grain Marketing Board silos.
“GMAZ, the apex representative body of the grain milling industry, is pleased to advise that it has appointed Metbank Limited as its financial advisor on the $8 million silo funding facility that it has extended to Government designed to complement its efforts in the rehabilitation and repair of Grain Marketing Board silos,” GMAZ president Tafadzwa Musarara said.
Metbank’s role will be to conduit funds of the facility, negotiate financial terms and ensure the successful performance of this facility. It will also be responsible in the procurement of nostro currency for GMAZ members for both outstanding payments and future shipments of mainly wheat and rice.
Mr Musarara said GMAZ has taken confidence in Metbank’s recent and current performance in providing critical financial services to the 2016/7 farming season.
“GMAZ is grateful and indebted to everyone who has participated and contributed towards the achievement of the 2016/7 maize bumper crop. We commend and congratulate the Government for its wise leadership in turning round the grain fortunes of the country,” said Mr Musarara.
Zimbabwe is set to produce enough maize this year and is likely to save as much as $350 million, qualifying this season as the biggest single import substitution activity since independence.
As part of the initiative, the Grain Marketing Board has started the rehabilitation of its 12 silos, with a target to complete the work just as the delivery season starts in April to accommodate the projected bumper harvest of at least 1,2 million tonnes of maize.
There were concerns that the success of the Government-led Command Agriculture Programme, which boosted maize production countrywide, would be compromised by poor storage facilities. GMB has a storage capacity of 3 973 000 tonnes of maize in its silos, open space and sheds. The total concrete silo (bulk) storage capacity is 749 500 tonnes and out of this capacity, 434 300 tonnes is usable in the current state, while 315 200 tonnes requires water proofing.
Open storage space, which is hard stands storage, has capacity to hold over three million tonnes of bagged grain and all of which is usable, while shed storage capacity is 173 700 tonnes.