Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

Millers in ferment over wheat imports

Millers in ferment over wheat imports

28/06/2012 00:00:00
by NewZiana

THE Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has slammed the government 
for spending US$27 million dollars on wheat imports while failing to fund 
local production of the crop.

In April this year, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made and his Finance 
counterpart Tendai Biti pledged to release US$20 million to help farmers 
acquire inputs for the winter wheat crop but the facility was never made 

GMAZ chairman Tafadzwa Musarara said the country had imported 45.1 million 
tonnes of wheat in the first five months of the year.

“This means that of the US$27 million remitted outside the country, US$18 
million benefited respective foreign wheat farmers,” he said.

“This flies in the face of government’s failure to raise US$20 million for 
the 2012 winter wheat season,” he said.

The government is importing wheat from Asian countries, Russia, Turkey and 

Wheat production is at its lowest as the government and agriculture 
stakeholders continue to fail to put in place effective plans to boost 
production of the cereal.

High production costs coupled with failure by farmers to access agricultural 
inputs and shortage of power for irrigation continue to present obstacles 
for wheat producers.

The government had set a target of 26,000 hectares for wheat this season but 
this has most likely not been met, with estimates that land planted might be 
around 10,000 hectares.

Last season only 14,100 hectares were planted against a target of 70,000 
hectares, with only 41,000 tonnes of the crop being harvested when the 
country requires 400,000 tonnes annually.

The government is still allowing duty free importation of wheat to address 
shortages due to failure to produce adequate quantities.

GMAZ argues that continued free importation is stifling local production of 
the crop as there was no incentive for farmers when imports were coming in 


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