Zimbabwe has only eight weeks supply of maize left but Matebeleland is worse off as it has only one-week’s supply, the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe said.
According to Africa News Agency, the millers disclosed this in a letter to Agriculture Minister Joseph Made I which they were seeking permits to import maize from South Africa and South America.
“Our count, as at December 15, 2015, revealed that there is circa (about) 248 000 metric tonnes of maize in the country, both for livestock and human consumption. This figure includes the Grain Marketing Board’s strategic grain reserves of 152 000 metric tonnes,” the GMAZ said.
“In essence, we now have less than eight weeks’ cover. There is need to mobilise maize from South America, since Zambia has put an export ban on FRA maize. Our members’ application for South American maize is being declined by your ministry.”
GMAZ Matabeleland Chapter chairman Thembinkosi Ndlovu said Bulawayo had only a week’s supply left.
“I regret to advise you that maize supplies for commercial milling in Bulawayo currently stand at one-week supply and the situation will deteriorate to no supply level very soon,” Ndlovu said.
Some unscrupulous maize traders have been accused of cashing in on the price difference between imported maize or maize they buy from poor farmers and the Grain Marketing Board price and were therefore importing or buying maize at about $180 a tonne and selling it to the GMB at $390 a tonne.