THE Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has posted a profit of over $873 000 for the 2012-2013 season up from $24 997 the previous season.
In a statement, GMB board chairman Charles Chikaura said the profit-making trend could only be sustained with timeous support from all stakeholders.
“Profit for the year increased by 3 416% from $24 997 the previous financial year to $873 819 during the year under review,” said Chikaura.
He, however, said there had been a decrease in maize received in the 2013 to 2014 marketing year from the intake that was received in the previous four years.
“The decrease in maize deliveries was a result of erratic climatic conditions which affected production, delayed inputs, late farmer payments and crop production shifts, as most farmers have resorted to high earning crops like tobacco,” he said.
Cumulative maize deliveries amounted to 33 273 metric tonnes for the 2013 to 2014 marketing season while small grains amounted to 395 metric tonnes.
Total maize and small grains deliveries were valued at $12,6 million.
“Cumulative payments for maize and small grains for 2013-2014 marketing season amounted to $$11,9m (94%),” said Chikaura.
“Outstanding payments stood at $725 924,54 (6%) as at March 31 2014.”
He said a total of 7 644 metric tonnes of wheat valued at $3,6 million was delivered while wheat payments amounted to $3,1 million.
Chikaura said the 2013 to 2014 marketing season was characterised by low grain intakes compared to the past two marketing seasons.
He said during the season under review, GMB faced shortage of grain bags, poor storage infrastructure, transport logistics and limited liquidity compounded by delays in receipts from Treasury.
The GMB has projected marketable surplus of maize based on the results of the current crop forecasts for the 2014 to 2015 at 250 000 metric tonnes.
“It is estimated that maize purchases will require $100 million and the government has made a provision for this amount in the budget,” said Chikaura.
“However, cognisant of the tight fiscal position and the imperative to pay farmers timeously, the GMB has approached the Agricultural Marketing Authority to raise sufficient resources in the market through bills to finance GMB requirements during 2014/15 marketing season.”