Grain millers are optimistic that the Command Wheat Programme will plug imports and have expressed preparedness to offtake 300 000 tonnes of wheat from locals.

Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe Chairman, Mr Tafadzwa Musarara told the ZBC News that imports of 5.3 million tonnes of wheat and maize worth about US$2 billion had become a strain on the economy.

He said his organisation will also provide 20 percent upfront payment of maize for 800 000 metric tonnes procured from command maize farmers to ensure timely payments.

This year, all grain purchases are being made through the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) in line with government’s directive.