Govt to ban grain imports

By Ndafadza Madanha

VICE President (VP) Emmerson Mnangagwa says government will ban importation of grain in order to curb arbitrage in the wake of a successful cropping season that will result in Zimbabwe recording a surplus of the staple crop.

VP Mnangagwa said this while responding to a question from Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Busisa Moyo at the International Business Conference that some individuals are likely to take advantage of the high prices offered by GMB for grain to import the same and resell to the parastatal.

Grain imports usually land in Zimbabwe at US$240-60 per tonne while the Grain Marketing Board buys at US$390 and the price differential will present a lucrative return for those who import maize.

“We have agreed with the 11 registered big millers that we arrive at a fixed parity price or the import parity price also government will impose a ban on grain imports as we are likely to have a surplus. Criminology has advanced but we have equally advanced and have put in measures to counter that,” said VP Mnangagwa.

Turning to the Command livestock program VP Mnangagwa said the initiative is awaiting cabinet approval and once it receives the green light the details will be made available to those interested in participating.

“Command livestock paper is now through it could have been presented to cabinet yesterday however owing to the impending state visit it was deferred to the next sitting on the 9th (May). The paper covers both livestock and poultry and funding is already in place. Funding was not difficult as many came forward and we accepted those with reasonable interest rates. Details will be made public once the program is approved by cabinet,” said VP Mnangagwa.

He said that the program once approved will benefit the western parts of the country which greatly value livestock in particular cattle.

The VP said the government will only introduce the command mining program once it had assessed the viability of the model.

“Command mining we are still discussing the modalities until we have a model that can work for command mining we cannot roll it out.”

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