Millers will import 100 000 tonnes of maize from Tanzania following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between their representative body, Grain Millers Association and a grain trading company from that country.
GMAZ, represented by its national chairman Tafadzwa Musarara signed the MoU with Tanzania registered AIFU International Limited which was represented by its director Sandra Mohammed Nassor.
Mr Musarara, who boasts more than 20 years experience in the grain milling sector, was in Tanzania to negotiate maize imports into Zimbabwe. Zambia, which used to be a major exporter of maize to Zimbabwe, has since stopped shipment to its neighbour citing inadequate supplies. That has forced grain processors to look elsewhere for maize.
According to the terms of the MoU seen by our Harare Bureau, each party shall procure, on its own behalf or on behalf of its members, all requisite statutory permits and licences for the facilitation of movement and payment of the maize.
“The supplier commits to supply 100 000 metric tonnes of white non GMO maize from Tanzania to members of the Association (GMAZ) at price of $345 CIF Harare Zimbabwe,” the MOU said.
“The Association members shall do everything necessary to provide Supplier’s bank with either Letter of Credit or any other financial instrument that maybe agreed upon by both parties. The Association will assist Supplier to relate to and negotiate with its members in coming up with bilateral agreements between Supplier and Association members,” it said.
The MoU will be interpreted in terms of the laws of Zimbabwe.
This is one of many other initiatives by GMAZ aimed at ensuring enough maize supplies in the country. Productivity per unit area has gone down in Zimbabwe to 0,8 tonnes per hectare from around 2,2 tonnes per hectare during the past years as a result of the vagaries of the weather. Grain traders and millers expect to also mop up locally produced maize but will import upwards of 700 000 tonnes of maize from Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa.
This is expected to assist the Government to alleviate food shortages due to the drought the country is going through.
The millers have gone on to negotiate for safe passage of maize imported from around the world through various ports.
GMAZ early this year entered into a structured logistics plan with Mozambique’s national rail company, Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique aimed at expediting movement of imported maize from the ports of Beira and Maputo via Machipanda and Chicualacula into Zimbabwe. Tanzania is expected to export grain to 13 fellow Sadc and East African Community member states facing grain deficits as weather patterns continue to affect agricultural production.