Monday, December 16, 2013

(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) More grain from Zambia by month end
Sunday, 03 November 2013 00:00
Sunday Mail Reporter

Zimbabwe is set to receive an additional 28 000 metric tonnes of grain from Zambia before the end of the month, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation, Cde Davis Marapira, has disclosed. The grain is set to be immediately distributed to some drought-stricken areas where Government has been distributing maize from the 10 000 metric tonnes it accessed from the country’s strategic grain reserve.

Cde Marapira disclosed that efforts to mobilise the money needed to ensure that the country takes delivery of the grain are already under way.

“Treasury is currently mobilising resources to import our next consignment of grain which should arrive in the country in the next 30 days. At least US$10 million is needed for the next consignment before the consignment is shipped.

“Presently we are distributing grain from the strategic grain reserves to areas where there are food deficits. We have also been receiving wheat from some friendly countries and it is always being distributed as part of measures aimed at ensuring that no one starves,” he said.

Recently, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Minister Dr Joseph Made told Cabinet that Zambia was demanding cash upfront before delivering any grain, resulting in only less than 20 000mt of grain out of the agreed 150 000mt having been received from Zambia so far.

He highlighted that the process of delivering grain takes more than 14 days since by law all maize must be fumigated before transportation while the transportation itself takes between seven to 14 days.

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