Zimbabwe: Bumper wheat harvest, but government owes farmers millions of USD

By Farai Shawn Matiashe
Posted on Wednesday, 4 January 2023 14:18

A farm worker at Redwood farm loads wheat from a combine harvester into a tractor on November 11, 2022 in Ticehurst, Zimbabwe. (Photo by KB Mpofu/Getty Images) (Photo by KB Mpofu / GETTY IMAGES EUROPE / Getty Images via AFP)

Zimbabwe has achieved a record so far in wheat production by harvesting 375,000 metric tonnes (mt) at the end of 2022. However, this bumper harvest has left farmers struggling to prepare for the next farming season and settle their debts due to the millions of US dollars they are owed by the Grain Marketing Board (GMB); a State-owned grain trade and marketing company.

Figures from the GMB show that as of mid-November 2022, the parastatal had received 120,000mt of wheat worth over Z$25m and Z$30bn (US$37.5m).

About 22% of the delivered wheat has been paid for, with the remaining 78% still to be paid, according to GMB officials.

For the standard grade of wheat, the Southern African nation’s most strategic crop after corn, GMB is paying a price of Z$243,680 (US$304) plus US$200 per tonne.