GMB fails to pay wheat farmers

One farmer in Banket, Mashonaland West province, said GMB had been making false promises over payments.

Government has failed to pay wheat farmers for deliveries to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), NewsDay has gathered.

According to farmers, this has dented their festive mood.

One farmer in Banket, Mashonaland West province, said GMB had been making false promises over payments.

“We are into the festive season and workers look forward to us to pay them but GMB has not paid us,” the farmer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

“Besides Christmas holiday, every parent needs school fees early next year. We are not happy at all.”

The affected farmers said non-payment was unjust and discouraging.

“We have been robbed of a good holiday. We have no money to spend with our families,” another farmer near Chinhoyi said. 

NewsDay gathered that in Karoi, only one farmer was paid recently due to pressing health issues.

“It is true that GMB has not paid us for the outstanding winter wheat,” another farmer said.

“Only one farmer who has health challenges was paid recently. We have failed to buy inputs for this farming season and we are in a fix over the delays by GMB.”

He said GMB had put their plans off the rails.

A random survey revealed that winter wheat farmers have been paid for their deliveries.

GMB chief executive officer Edison Badarai, however, claimed that the parastatal has started paying wheat farmers.

“On the US dollar component, the payments have been largely paid, except for US$2,8 million which will be liquidated in no time,” Badarai said.

A total of ZWL 68.6 billion has been paid completing ZWL obligations to farmers for the summer intake.  "Payments for the winter wheat intake have commenced with a total of ZWL 5.9 billion so far paid," he said.

“GMB would like to apologise for the delayed payment to our forever resilient and committed farmers who are spearheading the agriculture revolution that has seen Zimbabwe attaining food self-sufficiency.”

But disgruntled farmers said they had not received payment.

“We are yet to get payment from GMB yet the government is happy to announce a record breaking harvest,” another farmer said.

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