Zimbabwean wheat farmers rake in $12bn





THE Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has shelled out over $12 billion towards paying for over 198 000 tonnes of wheat delivered to the parastatal this marketing season.

In an interview, GMB chief executive Mr Rockie Mutenha said the parastatal had paid for 95 percent of all the gain it has received.

“GMB as of November 30, 2021 had received 198 483 tonnes of wheat valued at $12 255 713 158 and the payments are 95 percent.

“It must be understood that these are moving targets as we continue receiving wheat every day. Wheat is coming from both commercial and Pfumvudza/Intwasa farmers who had sources of water.

“The GMB prioritises all farmers and pays out all farmers based on their dates of deliveries.

“The 5 percent outstanding payments will be made as soon as we receive money.”

He added: “Some of the delays in payment were caused by farmers giving wrong account details and in some cases having low KYC (Know Your Customer) accounts.”

GMB is receiving 5 000 tonnes of the cereal per day and is paying $55 517,69 per tonne for utility or ordinary wheat.

Grade A wheat is fetching a premium price of up to $66 621,22 per tonne.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Dr Shadreck Makombe said: “The GMB must pay us timeously so that we are able to purchase inputs for the forthcoming planting season.”

Zimbabwe Farmers Union executive director Mr Paul Zakariya told The Sunday Mail that farmers were facing challenges with delayed payments.

“On commencement of marketing season, GMB promised that payments will be
made upon delivery or within a reasonable period.

“Paying farmers within a reasonable period can help them preserve value of their investment in light of the current inflationary pressures and enables farmers to prepare for next season.”

Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe national chairman Mr Tafadzwa Musarara told a press briefing on Friday last week that this year’s wheat production will be the biggest wheat import substitution programme in the country’s history.

“Had the country not embarked on this noble and successful local wheat production programme, we would be gravely susceptible to changing global wheat prices,” he said.

“At the moment, global wheat prices are on a surge due to the reduction of global wheat export supply by 16,5 million tonnes.

“Conversely, imported wheat landed in Zimbabwe is above US$530 per tonne. This has substantial potency to increase both bread flour prices and a loaf of bread significantly. Without local wheat production, bread would be selling upwards of US$1,25 per loaf.”