Maize intake for the 2018 marketing season have intensified at Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots countrywide with over 160 000 tonnes delivered so far.

Harvesting of maize grown both under command agriculture and by individuals has begun with farmers now delivering their grain to GMB depots countrywide.

Latest statistics from the GMB show that over 160 000 tonnes have been delivered against the national target of 600 000 this marketing season.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union Director Paul Zakaria says the current deliveries are commendable as most farmers who delayed planting owing to late rains are expected to start deliveries in July before reaching their in peak in August.

The country recorded a bumper harvest last season with deliveries hitting over 1.2 million following the launch of command agriculture to assist farmers with inputs.

Of major interest this year is that the government has for the first time started disbursing inputs under the Presidential Inputs Scheme and command agriculture, well ahead of the onset of the summer cropping season, a development expected to see farmers planting on time.