Word from the Market with AMA
The marketing season for grains and oilseeds started on 1 April and will last until 31 March 2023. It is the role of the Agricultural Marketing Authority to provide an enabling environment through effective regulatory services during this period to ensure smooth marketing of produce and the adherence to set protocols.
But what are grains and oilseeds?
Grains are cereals suitable as food whilst oilseeds are those grains that are valuable for the oil content they produce. In Zimbabwe, most grown cereals are wheat, white maize, sorghum, millet and rapoko. For Oilseeds, the most grown are Soya beans, ground nuts and sunflower. Other grains are sugar beans, popcorn, cow peas and sesame seed.
Certain crops are controlled in Zimbabwe as declared by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development. These include, maize, wheat, soyabeans and cotton.
As the marketing season starts, the first port of call is that all contractors, farmers and stakeholders must ensure that all outstanding registration requirements and returns are finalized.
As a reminder, the government set the producer prices for or maize, traditional grains, soya beans, sunflower and cotton as follows: Maize ZWL58,553.25/MT, Traditional Grains ZWL70,263.90/MT, Soyabean ZWL125,530.17/MT, Sunflower ZWL150,636.20/MT, Cotton produced under Pfumvudza/ Intwasa Scheme ZWL63.23 /kg and Cotton financed under non-Government funded arrangements ZWL111.17/kg
It is requirement of the law that any farmer/growers, contractor, processor and respective associations must be registered by AMA.
In terms of the Agricultural Marketing Authority (Grain, Oli Seed and Products) (Amendment) Regulations, 2021 published in Statutory Instrument 274 of 2021, all farmers must register with AMA before the 15th of December for all summer cropping and before 15 June for winter cropping each year.
Grain industry associations must register with AMA on or before the 30th of September each year. Contractors shall register before the 30th of September each year. Brokers, traders, processors must also register with AMA before the 31st of March each year.
In addition, contractors should ensure that all unregistered farmers are registered working together with the Grain Marketing Board. Contractors should also ensure that movements permits are applied for and granted on time so that there is smooth movement of produce.
For cotton, all contractors are encouraged as part of preparations for the marketing season, to register all outstanding farmers, forward all returns and pay all outstanding levies for the issuance of the buyers licenses. Preparations are already underway for the marketing season with grading boxes already approved. Every stakeholder is encouraged to play its part to ensure a smooth marketing season.
Over and above all, AMA would like to discourage side-marketing of all contracted produce. Stakeholders are advised that it constitute criminal offences to operate without registration, falsify information, purchase grain or oil seed, cotton contracted by another and to misappropriate inputs among others.
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