Cabinet has directed the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to improve transparency in the way grain deliveries and subsequent payments are being handled.

This follows several complaints by the farmers over the way they are being treated.

Following concerns raised by farmers over treatment they are receiving from the GMB, Cabinet has issued a directive ordering GMB to receive and accept all grain deliveries to its depots in an open and transparent way.

In a statement on the position of Cabinet with regards to GMB, Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Dr Christopher Mushohwe said the GMB should urgently set up satellite depots at rural districts and service centres in order to reduce transport costs and boost grain deliveries.

The GMB was ordered to ensure all grain delivered is paid for on a first come first served basis, without bias.

Minister Mushohwe highlighted any GMB or public officials working with unlicensed grain merchants to prejudice farmers and the state will be dealt with in terms of the law.

Farmers and the public have since been advised to report all malpractices by public officials and bogus grain traders to the Ministry of Agriculture Mechanisation and Irrigation Development as well as the police.