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Millers maize imports start arriving

by Staff reporter
24 Jan 2020 at 01:03hrs | Views
THE Grain Millers' Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) says maize bought using free funds has started arriving in the country with the association calling upon local cross border transporters to facilitate in transporting the grain.

GMAZ has assured the nation that mealie-meal supply in the country would stabilise in the next few weeks as necessary mechanisms have already been put in place to complement Government's efforts in guaranteeing food security in the country.

Under the grain procurement initiative, GMAZ has so far signed up for close to 100 000 tonnes per month with 50 000 tonnes of the consignment now being brought into the country.

On Wednesday, Business Chronicle visited the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depot in Bulawayo and witnessed some trucks offloading grain that were said to have been secured by GMAZ using free funds.

In a telephone interview from Harare yesterday, GMAZ media and public relations manager Mr Garikai Chaunza said:  "The maize has started moving from South Africa with the first batch having arrived in Bulawayo and we are calling upon local cross border transporters to assist us move the grain.

"We are going to see huge volumes of maize grain coming to Zimbabwe until the food situation stabilises and this is the reason why we are inviting transporters to register with us."

He said their grain import programme was aimed at supporting locals by creating employment as well as saving the milling industry from scaling-down operations.

"We are doing this to promote our own indigenous businesspeople as well as creating employment," said Mr Chaunza.

Zimbabwe was importing maize from the region and beyond due to the drought experienced in the last cropping season and the effects of Cyclone Idai which ravaged some parts of the country in March last year.

In an interview with Bloomberg in Davos, Switzerland this week where he is attending the World Economic Forum, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube assured the international community that the drought situation in the country was under control as the Government was putting in place measures such as importing grain to avert its impact.

He said Government was importing food from across the Atlantic, South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania while also receiving support from the international community to ensure that every household has sufficient food.  

Prof Ncube said the Government was shifting its budget towards financing agriculture and implementing climate change effects mitigating measures such as investing in irrigation and growing drought tolerant crops.

Zimbabwe requires 1,8 million tonnes of maize annually.

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Source - the herald