Zimbabwe to Seek Z$60 Billion in Private Funding to Buy Grain

Mthuli Ncube, Zimbabwe's finance minister, speaks during an interview in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. On the eve of major protests, which were called by the main opposition party over plunging living standards, Ncube said the country would establish a Monetary Policy Committee within a month that will cut interest rates, begin selling bonds with maturities of as long as 30 years, and proceed with a plan to privatize everything from state telecommunications companies to timber plantations. Photographer: Cynthia R Matonhodze/Bloomberg
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HARARE (Bloomberg) — Zimbabwe’s government hopes to secure 60 billion Zimbabwean dollars ($709 million) from the private sector to buy some of the country’s bumper corn harvest this year, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said.

“We have set up various structures: a Grain Purchase Committee and a Grain Payment Committee that include various producer associations to work on strategies to ensure that resources are in place to pay the farmers,” Ncube said in parliament in response to questions on whether the Treasury has the finances to buy an estimated 2.8 million tons of corn from producers. He didn’t give any details on the plans for securing private funding.

Ncube said 20 billion Zimbabwean dollars had already been disbursed to the Agricultural Marketing Authority by Treasury to kickstart payments to farmers.

The southern Africa nation’s corn producer price is currently set at 32,000 Zimbabwean dollars per ton.