THE GRAIN Marketing Board (GMB) this year received only 23 000 metric tonnes of maize from farmers countrywide, Deputy Agriculture minister David Murapira has said.
Murapira told Southern Eye Business deliveries were only enough to feed the country for a fortnight.
The government had to import 150 000 metric tonnes of maize from Zambia to cover the deficit recently.
Murapira said 3 000 tonnes had already been distributed in Matabeland provinces which were hardest hit by drought last year.
“The government had to import maize, but as for next year we are working on structures to stop importing grain,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s annual maize demand stands at two million metric tonnes.
The country’s import bill stood at close to $3 billion as of July this year and the bulk of the imports were food.
Murapira, however, said the government will inject close to $200 million to GMB by March next year to finance payment to farmers.
GMB has in the past been struggling to pay maize producers resulting in most farmers shunning the parastatal preferring to sell to private players.