The government has instructed the Grain Marketing Board to start procuring more grain bags and tarpoline used for the preservation of grain as the amount of grain being delivered to the GMB silos especially in Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West is increasing as prospects of a bumper harvest are beckoning.
As the country approaches the main harvesting period which begins end of July into September, indications on the ground are showing signs of a bumper harvest.
A visit to the GMB Norton silos with a capacity to hold 56 000 tonnes of grain and the Aspindale GMB silos showed that maize deliveries are increasing as the moisture content in the grain has reached acceptable levels.
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister, Dr Joseph Made said the first major maize deliveries are coming from farmers who benefitted under the special maize for import substitution programme because they planted earlier using irrigation.
Dr Made added farmers are delivering in excess of 15 000 metric tonnes per week and those who benefitted under the command agriculture are being recorded accordingly.
Some of the farmers who were waiting to deliver their grain at the GMB silo commended the government’s special maize programme while others felt the GMB depots must have made adequate preparations like buying generators in case of power failures.
Annually, Zimbabwe needs about 1.8 million metric tonnes for consumption, including small grains such as millet and sorghum.