Increased Maize Deliveries to GMB

Staff reporter

The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has witnessed a significant increase in maize deliveries from farmers compared to the same period last year.

Speaking to this publication, a source at the GMB revealed that GMB received 3,629 metric tonnes (Mt) of maize during the 2023/24 marketing season, a significant surge from the 2,403 Mt recorded during the corresponding period in the previous year.

This uptick in maize deliveries comes at a critical juncture as the country grapples with the current El-Nino-induced drought, which has left millions facing food insecurity. Zimbabwe, is among the hardest-hit nations in Africa, and has declared a state of emergency to address the crisis affecting approximately 9 million people.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development Deputy Minister, Davies Marapira highlighted that, Government's efforts to support agricultural production, including initiatives to enhance irrigation infrastructure and provide access to inputs and extension services, appear to be yielding positive results.

 “Despite the challenges posed by the drought, the agricultural sector is showing resilience, with farmers demonstrating increased productivity,” said Marapira.

Looking ahead, GMB anticipates further growth in maize deliveries, with projections indicating an expected intake of up to 210,000 Mt from the 2023-2024 summer cropping season. This forecast includes 150,000 Mt of maize from the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) and an additional 60,000mt from AFC Holdings.

“As of May 12, 2024, maize and traditional grain stocks in the country stood at 166,592mt, comprising 128,875mt of maize and 37,717mt of traditional grains. These reserves are crucial for ensuring food security and mitigating the impact of future shocks on vulnerable populations,” said the source at GMB.

Meanwhile, the increase in maize deliveries to GMB is as a result of sustained Government efforts in enhancing agricultural infrastructure, technology and support services for increased production.  This has gone a long way in addressing underlying factors that contribute to food insecurity, such as climate change adaptation, market access, and social protection programs.