The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture and Resettlement yesterday learnt through the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) that Zimbabwe imported 700 000 metric tonnes of maize from Mexico.
The maize is said to have been imported to plug the EL- Nino induced food deficit that the country experienced during the 2015/16 Agricultural season that was declared a national disaster by the former President. According to GMB the maize which is still in stock is fit for human consumption.
“Not all of it was sold but the maize is still fit for consumption, as of now we are left with 89 000 mt stored in various depots across the country, “said GMB General manager Rockie Mutenha.
GMB denied claims by Norton Legislator that there was more maize which had come into the country before importation permits had been frozen which was currently rotting in silos.
“We are no longer importing maize, but there are contracts which were already paid for but the maize arrived late, that is the maize you saw coming in, we resorted to swopping the maize for fertilizers instead as we are sufficiently supplied in terms of maize and there is no maize rotting in the silos
“As for now the Minister of Agriculture has not been issuing import licenses and no maize is coming into the country unless it is being smuggled,” said Mutenha.
GMB maintains that through its work with the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) which is stationed on the country’s border posts they are able to receive alerts whenever grain comes into the country.