Transform GMB, Board Told

The Grain Marketing Board has been ordered to develop self-financing mechanisms to buy, store and sell grain from the next marketing season.

The parastatal is also expected to manage the national strategic grain reserve to meet national and export requirements in line with the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy and the National Development Strategy 1(NDS1).

Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Anxious Masuka gave the GMB board members their new mandate in Harare yesterday.

The board was appointed in May 2019, for a four-year term ending in 2023.

Dr Masuka said the board plays a major role towards the attainment of Vision 2030, of an upper middle income economy.

“Your board’s role shall be the management of the GMB to ensure national food security and provision of advice on the magnitude of the national strategic grain reserve in view of climate change, liquidity and socio politico-economic considerations.

“Transformation of the GMB from a beneficiary in the agricultural value chain to an active participant for the receipt, distribution, accountability, use and grain intake for Presidential Schemes while leveraging on such schemes to build internal capacity to expand crop intake, diversify revenue streams and meet national and export requirements as enshrined in the Agricultural Recovery Plan and National Development Strategy (is another role). This must be achieved by the 2021/22 summer season,” he said.

Dr Masuka challenged the board to ensure value for money from investments and growing the investments to ensure the national objectives of basic products’ price stabilisation and product availability and affordability are fully met by December 2021.

The board used to rely on Treasury for funds to buy grain from farmers, but they are now required to develop self-sustaining financing mechanisms for purchase and sale of grain ahead of the present marketing season, and creating a robust and sustainable financial base for the parastatal by the 2022/23 summer marketing season.

“The board shall improve internal capacity, capability and competencies to generate the requisite efficiencies for the delivery of seamless services and ensuring that objectives are met through robust strategies and plans.

“This should be accomplished by June 2021,” he said.

GMB board chairperson Ms Joylyn Ndoro said they will work hard towards the transformation of GMB and meeting all the set objectives.

“We are going to re-align the mandate to our strategy to cater for those objectives. We will also look into the GMB structure to complement the functions and later implementation,” said Ms Ndoro.

The GMB was established in terms of the Grain Marketing Act to ensure national food security through the creation and effective management of the strategic grain reserve.

It also provides storage, handling and processing facilities for controlled products as and when so designated, importation and exportation of cereals and grains, as well as to intervene decisively to anticipate and, where necessary, manage national food emergencies.

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