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Friday, May 24, 2024

GMAZ assures nation of adequate maize stocks

Story by ZBC Reporter

The Grain Millers Association (GMAZ) has assured the nation of adequate supply of maize, dismissing claims that the country only had only a few months’ stocks left.

In a statement, the Grain Millers Association president, Dr Tafadzwa Musarara noted that claims by the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) that Zimbabwe’s maize meal stocks are depleted are false, as several millers under the GMAZ ambit have successfuly imported in excess of 200 000 metric tonnes of maize between October and December 2023.

“The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture last week and claimed that the country is left with only four-months’ cover of maize stocks.

“This claim was widely covered by the local and international media and triggered unwarranted alarm, panic and despondency locally and abroad. This claim is incorrect, unfortunate, misleading and regrettable,” said Dr Musarara.

He explained, “We wish to categorically re-state that the maize supply situation in the country is adequate, satisfactory and the country is indeed maize secure. The milling industry, working under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, successfully secured substantial stocks in the region to complement local stocks. This arrangement was motivated by the need to mitigate against the subsisting drought season.”

National maize stocks are enumerated by aggregating stocks with GMB, millers, other grain processors, contractors, commercial farmers, and rural households, added Dr Musarara.

He said the GMB is but one of the several stockists of maize in the country and their stocks, on their own, cannot constitute the national maize balance sheet.

He said the 200 000 metric tonnes imported so far demonstrates the gigantic capability of the local millers to mobilise maize stocks from foreign sources into the country, with another 200,000 metric tonnes of maize stocks expected in the first quarter of 2024, against a national requirement of 150,000 metric tonnes of the same period.

“We confidently assure the consuming public of the availability of their maize meal supplies in all retail outlets nationwide,” he said.

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