The government has with immediate effect banned all maize imports and the issuance or renewal of import licences for maize has also been stopped forthwith.

After reviewing the state of maize deliveries at GMB depots countrywide cabinet has given a directive to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr Joseph Made to stop all maize and shelve the issuance or renewal of import licences forthwith.

What it means is that all licences to import maize and foreign currency allocations by the Reserve Bank to import grain have been stopped as the government shift focus to buy the projected over two million tonnes of maize produced under the special maize import substitution programme dubbed command agriculture, the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme and grain from individuals farmers, notes Dr Made.

The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe will now be accommodated under the special facility to buy grain from the GMB.

The GMB has been tasked to work around the clock to assist farmers with empty bags and ensure that all maize with the right moisture content is received without delays.