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BizDay Zimbabwe

Agric inputs scheme on course

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THE Government’s agriculture input scheme is firmly on course with a cumulative US$54,3 million worth of fertilisers expected to be delivered to the Grain Marketing Board for distribution to farmers by the end of this month. This comes as Government has to date signed US$153,2 million inputs supply contracts under its US$161 million 2013/4 agriculture inputs support programme, manoeuvring its way against funding constraints.

It is expected that by end of this month 51 218 tonnes of compound D, 30 020 tonnes of ammonium nitrate and 9 967 tonnes of line would have been delivered.

A total of 29 519 tonnes of compound D, 12 520 tonnes of AN and 2 537 tonnes of lime valued at a cumulative US$27,44 million have already been delivered to GMB.

“Indications are that there is no need to make alternative arrangements to import fertiliser as fertiliser companies needed time to import raw materials to facilitate production of compound D with deliveries underway.”

According to industry sources, Zimbabwe requires about 150 000 tonnes of compound D and equal volumes of AN fertiliser for the current farming season.

Statistics from Ministry of Finance and Economic Development also show that a total of 13 427 tonnes of maize and small grain seed valued at US$32,14 million had been delivered to GMB by the 21st of this month against contracted tonnage of 16 668 with a total value of US$39,8 million.

According to the information from Treasury, a total of US$51 million that was earmarked for the 2013 inputs programme would be sufficient to cover all obligations leaving uncommitted resources amounting to US$6 million.

Government had made US$20 million down payment upon signing of the inputs supply contracts, paid US$1 million for GMB handling charges while a total of US$22,53 million would be paid against the deliveries.

The finance ministry contracted suppliers for about 16,2 tonnes of maize and small grain seed valued at just over US$39,78 million, US$110,82 million for fertiliser and set aside US$2,6 million for GMB handling charges.

In November, cumulative local grain deliveries stood at 37 767 tonnes valued at US$14,68 million with US$9,2 million paid for maize deliveries of 24,3 tonnes last month. A balance of about US$5,5 million for 8 7731 tonnes of maize and 4 315 tonnes of wheat and 379 tonnes of small grain is what remains to be paid.

Treasury is in the process of mobilising the US$77,6 million balance of the amount required under the US$161 million input support programme, which is due for payment to the agricultural inputs suppliers next year.

Also, Treasury has facilitated the disbursement of US$5 million by the National Social Security Authority to Agribank for support to A2 farmers.

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