Farmers paid $25bn, (US$24m) for grains

Farmers delivering maize and traditional grains from last summer’s harvest have been paid $25 billion and US$24 million since April, with the summer grains now in GMB stocks expected to last for more than 11 months, well after the first deliveries from the next harvest.

Speaking after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Acting Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere who was standing in for Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, said Cabinet received national grains status report from Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Anxious Masuka.

For summer grains, the Grain Marketing Board stocks on Sunday stood at 561 554 tonnes comprising 482 554 tonnes of maize and 79 120 tonnes of traditional grains.

Using a monthly consumption rate of 49 295 tonnes, made up of 24 295 tonnes for Social Welfare and 25 000 tonnes for millers and stock feed manufacturers, the summer grain stocks would last 11 months.

“A total of $25,161 billion and US$24 million has since been paid out to farmers for grain intake since 1 April, 2022,” said Minister Muswere.

While last summer’s harvest is all delivered, with large amounts retained for on-farm and household consumption, the winter wheat harvest is still being brought in, but already more than nine months supply is in the hands of the GMB and millers.

The actual amount harvested so far is 255 618 tonnes, but about 60 000 tonnes is still being dried and threshed before delivery.

“Current wheat stocks at GMB stand at 160 262 tonnes, while the millers have 33 500 tonnes in stock. The GMB stocks will provide 7,6 months’ cover at a consumption rate of 21 000 tonnes per month, while the total country stock will last 9,2 months,” said the Minister

“So far 58 972ha which have so far been harvested have culminated in 255 618 tonnes of wheat. On a sad note, a total of 3 980ha of the wheat crop was damaged by rains, with the largest hectarage of 3 225ha being in Mashonaland West.”

On another matter, Minister Muswere said Cabinet approved the multi-hazard contingency plan for the present rainfall season, as proposed by Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo.

Cabinet noted that hazardous events have increasingly become more frequent, intense and complex to manage.

“Natural hazards include tropical cyclones, droughts, floods, hailstorms, lightning, veld fires and strong winds, among others.

“Though natural hazards cannot be prevented from occurring, their effects can be mitigated through early warning systems and effective emergency preparedness, mitigation, and disaster response and recovery systems,” he said.

“Preparing for disasters improves the well-being of citizens and enhances economic growth through protection and creation of livelihood assets, thereby reducing costs associated with response and recovery.

“Government has therefore prioritised the development of the multi-hazard contingency plan for the 2022-2023 rainfall season in order to ensure that the population is effectively prepared for disasters so as to reduce the loss of life and property.”

He said the contingency plan articulated the measures Government, with the support of partners, would take to prevent or reduce any potential adverse impacts emanating from natural and man-made disasters.

“It sought to promote a coordinated approach to preparedness and response before, during and after emergencies,” he said.

Responding to questions, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Evelyn Ndlovu said the country’s education and examination system remained sound despite some few incidents of leaked examination papers. She said the country’s education system remained the envy of many countries globally. – Herald

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