Zaka - Despite a poor 2015/16 rain season and generally poor harvests in Zaka district this year which has seen the majority of villagers in Zaka relying on social welfare food handouts, one farmer defied all odds and delivered three and half tons of grain to the local Grain Market Board (GMB) branch in Jerera.
Nyasha Gavaza, a renowned farmer cum politician and member of ZANU PF central committee from Gavaza village under Chief Bota, became the first farmer in the district to bring maize to GMB this year.
Some farmers who spoke to this publication said they shun selling their produce to the GMB since the board failed to pay off all farmers' dues for the previous season.
"We used to sell our grain to GMB but now it is unreliable and some of us are still to be paid. Sometimes you are told the cash has been transferred to your account but only to be later informed that the money was deposited in the wrong account," said one farmer
However, the GMB branch manager Ngoni Matsvange appealed to farmers to continue bringing grain to GMB saying the board was ready to pay the farmers.
He said if there were mishaps in the past, they have since been rectified.
"I would like to appeal to our farmers to continue to bring their grain and to have confidence with us," he said
Matsvange said farmers who regularly contributed to the GMB grain reserves were from the new settlements along Chiredzi road where mobile networks are unreliable, making it difficult to contact farmers when their payments have been made.
GMB is buying maize at 39 cents per kilogram.news