Zim millers start receiving grain after GMB lifts sales embargo

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By Thandiwe Garusa

ZIMBABWEAN millers started receiving grain from their Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots after the national grain agent reversed its suspension on maize sales Tuesday.

This was confirmed in a statement by Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) Public Relations Manager Garikai Chaunza who described the process as cumbersome.

“Millers started receiving the maize for the subsidised Roller Meal on Friday 06 December 2019 and we are in the process of collecting the grain from GMB whose process is cumbersome,” he said.

“We had gone for some time without getting maize from GMB which had suspended sales pending the re-introduction of the subsidy.”

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube was last week forced to reverse his decision to scrap grain subsidies which he had described as an unnecessary burden to the fiscus when he presented his 2020 national budget last month.

The unpopular decision to scrap subsidies by the minister triggered increases to the cost of Roller Meal with a 10kg packet shooting to more than $80.

However, the latest developments have seen retailers forced to reduce the price of the same product quantity to $50, with the sellers and wholesalers also forced to revise their invoices down.

Said Chaunza; “What we have done to arrest the situation is to credit our clients who are retailers and wholesalers on their current invoices and make them get new invoices of maximum prices of ZWD45.00 per 10kg and sell at the maximum retail prices of ZWD50.00 per 10kg.

“We are going to see the supply of Roller Meal improving starting this week because millers, as I am speaking to you right now, are busy collecting and milling the maize they are collecting from GMB depots.”