The Grain Marketing Board has mobilised US$15 million to fund the production of 4 000 hectares of soya beans under contract farming next season. In an interview after the annual general meeting, yesterday, GMB general manager, Mr Albert Mandizha said the parastatal would select farmers with irrigation facilities or located in high rainfall agro-ecological regions. "We are opening a stock feeds milling plant in Norton this June and it requires 240 tonnes of soya beans per day hence we want to assist farmers so that we can have the best yield," he said.
In the past two seasons, GMB has contracted sorghum, millet, sugar beans, groundnuts and sunflower farmers. Mr Mandizha said GMB was prepared to supply soya beans inputs to qualifying farmers in time and ensure the crop was properly harvested.
"Our emphasis is shifting towards commercial business and decreasing our reliance on the fiscus through focusing on the commercial side of our business," he said.
Government recently revealed that it was working towards establishing a legislative framework to promote contract farming.