Farmers at Antelope Outgrowers Irrigation Scheme in Matopo have accused the Grain Marketing Board of failing to honour its promise of funding their winter wheat and buying their produce.
Queen Nyoni who is a member of the irrigation scheme told Radio Dialogue that GMB had promised to provide farmers with inputs and provide them with a ready market for their wheat but the parastatal never honoured any of that.
She said they had banked on GMB to pay the scheme’s power bills but they are now being threatened with a power disconnection.
“We did all that is needed in farming, we hired tractors from our own pockets, we hired those who will draw up rows for planting at our expense again but after all that we were not reimbursed up to today,” said Nyoni.
Mncedisi Tshabalala who is also a farmer said he managed to plant and harvest on his own and took the produce to GMB but the board is yet to settle its payment. He said some farmers who sent produce after him have been paid.
“I for one sent three tonnes of wheat to the GMB last year and I have not been given my dues. What is most painful is that those who sent maize to the board after us have already been given their monies. Moreover we gather that there are some bogus politicians who have since started to use our produce for campaigning before we the owners have benefited from it,” said Tshabalala.
Meanwhile, Chief Masendu of Bulilima in Plumtree says GMB has also misled villagers in his ward as it is failing to supply maize under the Grain Loan Scheme. He said some households are starving because of acute maize shortages.