WASHINGTON DC —
Some communal farmers, who have not yet been paid by the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) for maize delivered last agricultural season, say they will not sell any grain to the GMB this year unless the state-owned entity settles all outstanding payments.
Disgruntled farmers in Mashonaland West, Midlands and Masvingo provinces told VOA Studio 7 that they are owed between $13,000 and $18,000 each for maize and small grain delivered between May and July last year.
Councillor Maqhawe Moyo of Silobela said the unpaid communal farmers in his area have asked local authorities to take up the matter with Finance Minister Tendai Biti.
Moyo said at least 20 farmers in Silobela have failed to get their dues from the GMB.
“We hope to hold a meeting with the finance minister as soon as possible because chances are high that most farmers won’t deliver maize to the GMB this year,” he said.
Mike Shumba of Gutu, Masvingo Province, said they will this year sell maize to private buyers as the GMB has failed to honour its financial obligations.
Patrick Dube, a member of the paliamentary agriculture committee, said the GMB officials lied that they have settled all outstanding payments when they appeared before the committee last year following complaints by farmers that they had not been paid for grain deliveries.
GMB officials declined to comment while Mr. Biti was not reacheable.