Gwanda farmers bemoan late payment by GMB


Gwanda (New Ziana) -Small scale farmers in Gwanda district have expressed concern at the delay by the Grain Marketing Board to pay them for the produce that they deliver to it.
The farmers complained that the delays were despite government assurance that the GMB would pay within 72 hours of delivery.
The concerns were raised to Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Development Dr Sithembiso Nyoni during a field day in Dubane A1 farming area in Gwanda on Wednesday.
One of the farmers, Matilda Masiye said, “I am demoralised to sell my grain to GMB because I have not been paid my money since delivering my grain in June last year.”
“I cannot buy agricultural inputs in preparation for this year’s farming season. When l delivered my grain, I was promised that I would be paid within 72 hours, but it has turned out to be months.”
Another farmer, Bonginkosi Mlauzi appealed for payment in US dollar for maize delivered to the GMB.
“Late payments are crippling preparations for the upcoming season and we are therefore appealing to government to peg maize deliveries to GMB in foreign currency to avoid inflation erosion when we are finally paid, considering the delays in payments,” he said.
“Those that sold their produce to middlemen have since done something notable with their money, while we are still waiting for payment, which we are not sure when it will come,” Moyo added.
In response, Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister Anxious Masuka who attended the field day said the government had already started paying farmers for 2020/2021 deliveries to the GMB.
“Compared to last season, Government has done exceedingly well, and we urge farmers to be more patient,” he said.
“When Government announced a policy that those farmers delivering their grain to GMB depots will be paid within 72 hours, and that those that will deliver to collection points will be paid within 5 days, that policy has not changed.
In March this year, the government announced a maize producer price of $32 000 per ton, with Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube pledging to provide $60 billion to the GMB to enable it to pay for this year’s grain deliveries.
As at August 2, 2021, a total of 629 007 metric tons of maize and 64 798 metric tons of traditional grains had been delivered to the GMB, which has 87 depots and several buying points dotted around the country.
New Ziana

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