Grain deposits surpass last year’s intake

THE Grain Marketing Board (GMB) says the amount of grain deposited with the national silos so far has surpassed last year’s intake. 

This was revealed during a recent Grain Mobilisation and Distribution Ministerial Committee virtual meeting with this month’s intake making a steady increase according to Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka. 

“The ministerial committee noted that cumulative maize intake for the 2021/22 marketing season stood at 226 262MT, traditional grains 20 778MT, wheat 616MT and soya beans 9 798MT. 

“It was further advised that the maize intake for the week under review was 47 864MT compared to last week’s figure of 47 303MT,” Masuka said. 

“The ministerial committee was advised that the grain received so far (226 262 metric tonnes has surpassed last year’s intake (156 316MT) and that the intake for June was increasing because maize is drying up and most farmers are harvesting.” 

According to GMB’s grain intake analysis by province, Mashonaland West has the highest deliveries of 166 875MT of maize with Matabeleland South recording the lowest with 278MT.  

Mashonaland Central tops the deliveries list for traditional grains, while Matabeleland is the lowest, standing at a one metric tonne.  

Mashonaland West is in first place when it comes to soya beans deliveries with 5 821MT, while Masvingo and Matabeleland South have the lowest intake of two metric tonnes each. 

The committee, however, noted that there was a possible shortage of wheat and recommended that the government chip in and provide funding for imports. 

“The committee noted that total wheat stocks in the country as at June 19, 2021 were 90 250MT. The wheat stocks provided a three months’ cover at a consumption rate of 30 000MT per month,” Masuka said. 

“The ministerial committee was advised that GMB is planning to import 30 000MT of wheat at a cost of US$13,77 million for July to September consumption. 

“GMB is proposing to contract wheat imports of 

10 000MT each to Ameropa, ASP Marketing and United Africa Grain. 

“In this regard, the ministerial committee recommended the Treasury and RBZ to raise the requisite financial resources to import the required 30 000MT to ensure that the country does not run out of wheat stocks.”