The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) says the 2018 maize marketing season which commenced on the 1st of April is progressing well with around 15 000 metric tonnes of the crop having been delivered mostly by commercial farmers who have drying facilities and has assured farmers of timely payments for the grain.

The GMB has started receiving grain from farmers across the country with expectations that the 2018/19 marketing season will be a better one.

The parastatal says it has put in place all the necessary mechanisms to ensure a smooth marketing season.

GMB General Manager Mr Rockie Mutenha said it has been a good start to the marketing season and assured farmers that treasury has availed the necessary resources to ensure that famers are paid on time.

“Farmers have started delivering the grain to GMB. All our depots across the country are ready to receive the grain. Our major appeal is for farmers to ensure that their maize is tested for moisture content,” said Mr Mutenha.

GMB, which has been revamping the grain handling infrastructure, says all the silos are now ready to receive grain.

The entity has also appealed to farmers to ensure that their banking details are correct and urged those under the Command Agriculture Programme to make sure that the cost recovery stop order forms are completed.

“We appeal to farmers to make sure that the banking details are correct to avoid challenges and for those who received inputs under the command agriculture programme they must ensure that the stop order forms are signed so that we can deduct that which is due to us,” Mr Mutenha added.

GMB, which is buying maize at US$390 per tonne, says key focus areas during the current maize marketing season is to ensure long-term storage of the grain, quality of crop, timeous payment for delivered grain and minimal post-harvest losses.