The Grain Marketing Board (GMB), most of whose silos are full from this year's grain deliveries, is footing the bill of redirecting wheat deliveries to depots that can afford to accommodate the cereal. The development has put paid to fears that farmers might bear the cost of transporting their crop to inconveniently located depots that are far from their farming areas.
There were also fears that most of the wheat, which could not be accepted at depots whose silos are presently full, could be spoiled by the imminent rains. Senior officials interviewed by The Herald at GMB Glendale, who, however, elected to remain anonymous as they are not authorised to speak to the Press, confirmed that wheat deliveries were now being redirected to Northern products storage facilities just outside Chinhoyi since the silos were full.
"This year, the country witnessed a bumper maize harvest, which has taken up all the storage space in our silos and the winter wheat crop is now being directed to other depots which still have space.
"Farmers are bringing their wheat as usual and as GMB, we assumed the responsibility of transportation costs to those depots. Overall, the facilities have a holding capacity of 40 000 tonnes and about 17 000 tonnes have so far been used. There is plenty of storage space to accommodate wheat deliveries by farmers. Farmers must just ensure that they harvest their crop before the onset of rains and they should not fear because there is enough storage to hold all the wheat and farmers are delivering their crop," said a senior GMB official.
GMB acting general manager Mr Lawrence Jasi said he needed time to gather full details from the country's various depots.