Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
STATE-owned Silo Foods Industries says it will now be buying maize and small grain from farmers at $2 100 per tonne, higher than $1 400 gazetted by Government.
Last month, Government announced a new producer price of maize at $1 400 per tonne, which was increased from a previous margin of $726 a tonne.
In a statement, Silo Foods Industries said it would be buying the grain from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots dotted across the country.
“Silo Foods Industries is now buying maize and small grains from farmers at RTGS$2 100 per tonne,” said the entity.
“Silo Foods Industries will with immediate effect open collection points where farmers can deliver to avert transport costs.”
The agro-processing firm encouraged farmers to continue delivering maize and small grains so that the nation meets its food security target. The company started operating as a fully-fledged commercial business unit in April this year opening 84 shops across Zimbabwe.
Silo Foods Industries was this year unbundled from GMB to become a stand-alone business unit and the firm’s outlets sell basic commodities such as mealie-meal, beans, rice, coffee, wheat flour, salt and samp as well as stock feeds at reasonable prices. The Government has injected $70 million into the business for it to ramp up production.
Meanwhile, an additional $95 million will be invested over a three-year period to make the project both viable and sustainable. In April, SFI announced that it was seeking strategic partners to inject US$55 million and RTGS$40 million to boost its operations following the unbundling of the GMB.
About seven entities, five of them local and two international, have shown interest in Silo Food Industries. The unbundling of GMB falls under Government’s plans to restructure State-owned enterprises, within which 41 entities are lined-up for privatisation, departmentalisation or listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.