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Source: 39 000t maize seed expected | The Herald July 19, 2019 Mr Mwashaireni Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter The seed industry is expecting 39 000 tonnes of certified maize seed on the market as preparations for the 2019/20 summer cropping season take off. Farmers usually require between 35 000 and 40 000 tonnes of maize […]
Source: 39 000t maize seed expected | The Herald July 19, 2019
Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
The seed industry is expecting 39 000 tonnes of certified maize seed on the market as preparations for the 2019/20 summer cropping season take off.
Farmers usually require between 35 000 and 40 000 tonnes of maize seed, but this may vary depending on demand.
Zimbabwe Seed Traders Association president, Mr Amon Mwashaireni said last season’s maize seed production was affected by the El Nino-induced drought.
“The seed industry is expecting about 39 000 tonnes of certified maize seed, 9 900 tonnes of soyabean seed, 1 900 tonnes of small grain seed, 1 700 tonnes of sugarbean seed and 950 tonnes of cowpeas seed.
“Some farmers are, however, still shelling their maize. Most of this seed has not been delivered by our contracted farmers. We are also not yet certain if the Grain Marketing Board depots are holding onto some seed quantities from last season’s Government input programmes,” he said.
Mr Mwashaireni expressed concern that the industry was faced with a challenge after Government pegged the producer price in foreign currency to cushion farmers from escalating prices.
“After Government pegged producer prices for maize grain at US$242 per tonne equivalent to RTGS$ at the prevailing interbank exchange rate, all the seed farmers are doing the same for all seed crops citing that by doing this, they will retain the value of their money even if inflation goes up.”
Source: Council courts contractors for new school | The Herald July 19, 2019 Walter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent Masvingo City Council has surrendered the construction of the long-awaited Rujeko Secondary School to interested contractors. Sometime in 2009, the local authority’s full council meeting resolved that there be a council secondary school in Rujeko suburb, citing the […]
Source: Council courts contractors for new school | The Herald July 19, 2019
Walter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent
Masvingo City Council has surrendered the construction of the long-awaited Rujeko Secondary School to interested contractors.
Sometime in 2009, the local authority’s full council meeting resolved that there be a council secondary school in Rujeko suburb, citing the growing population within the location which has two primary schools, namely Rujeko and Shakashe.
The city officials said another secondary school was going to ease pressure from the overpopulated Ndaramba High in Target Kopje, Mucheke High, Christian College in Mucheke suburb and Victoria High School in Rhodene.
Ward 8 Councillor Babylon Beta, who is also finance and general purpose committee chairman, said the need for a new secondary school was high, but council realised it was going to be too expensive to construct the school, hence opening the project to outside bidders.
“We had plans to construct a secondary school in Rujeko as council, but we were found wanting as the money needed to do the project is beyond our reach,” he said.
Clr Beta said the project was now open for bidding and a tender would be advertised in the local press soon, inviting those with financial muscle to do the project.
“We prefer church organisations to bid for the tenders, as we fear that if the project is undertaken by private companies, the school will have the potential to charge exorbitant fees,” he said.
“The main aim is to provide affordable education to residents’ children and not for the school to be a business venture.”
Clr Beta said the land had long been identified for the school project and when the project gets a bidder, the contractor would be expected finish within three years.
Source: GMB maize monopoly challenged – The Zimbabwe Independent July 19, 2019 BRIDGET MANANAVIRE TWO local businesspeople have approached the High Court seeking the invalidation of Statutory Instrument (SI) 145 of 2019 which gave the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) a monopoly over the importation and sale of maize in the country. Through the legislation, the […]
Source: GMB maize monopoly challenged – The Zimbabwe Independent July 19, 2019
TWO local businesspeople have approached the High Court seeking the invalidation of Statutory Instrument (SI) 145 of 2019 which gave the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) a monopoly over the importation and sale of maize in the country.
Through the legislation, the government last month made GMB the sole trader of maize in Zimbabwe after fixing the floor price at ZW$1 400 per tonne. The legislation also makes it illegal for people to trade in maize among themselves.
It also bans the transportation of more than five bags of maize except when making deliveries to the GMB and empowers police to seize any grain they suspect is being moved without authority and compliance with the law.
“No person who is not a producer of maize (farmer) or who is not a contractor shall sell maize to the GMB … No person or statutory body or entity shall buy or otherwise acquire any maize from any farmer or producer otherwise than through the GMB,” the SI reads.
Grain dealer Allan Markham, who is also MDC legislator for Harare North and pig farmer Clever Rambanapasi filed a joint application at the High Court on Monday, seeking the court to declare SI 145 unconstitutional.
Markham and Rambanapasi argued that the legislation is ultra vires the constitution in that it denies them the freedom of profession and trade and also stifles competition.
The rights are enshrined in 56, 58, 64 and 71 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement minister Perrance Shiri and GMB are cited as the first and second respondents.
Zimbabwe is experiencing a shortage of maize, following drought-induced poor harvests in the 2018/19 farming season.
Markham says he has extensive interests in the agriculture and commercial sector where he buys and sells maize in communities. He is also buys maize from communal farmers which he uses to feed vulnerable communities particularly the urban poor in places like Hatcliffe, Highfield and Glen View.
Rambanapasi said he was a communal farmer who runs a small piggery project in Murewa, which regards maize as an essential ingredient in stockfeed. He also buys maize from rural communities in various villages in rural Murewa to feed his pigs.
“What this therefore means is that the agriculture minister has set up a monopoly and indeed a dangerous monopoly in respect of which anyone who trades in grain whether is a buyer or seller can only do so through the GMB and can only do so at a fixed price of ZWL1 400,” the application reads.
“The regulations, restate the re-monopolisation of maize sold to the GMB in Section 5 and 6 of the same. The consequences and effect of the regulations and indeed the consequences and effect of declaring a product a controlled one is therefore drastic.”
The applicants said the legislation affects the contractual right of farmers and traders to buy grain from any party or individual.
“In rural communities where communal farmers produce subsistence maize, it means that it has a serious effect on livelihoods. A peasant farmer in Muzarabani must theoretically travel miles away to a GMB depot. Equally his neighbour who is starving must travel miles to that GMB depot to buy grain because the two of them can’t simply exchange,” the court papers read. “Further in these communities, people do barter trade that is to say chickens or goats for maize. This can’t happen now. Apart from affecting the freedom to contract, the move affects freedom to trade. Professional millers, retailers and other organisations and individuals, including myself who had the right to buy maize everywhere can no longer do so except from GMB.
“At GMB the challenge is that there is a controlled price. The market is excluded. The declaration has an effect on due process rights protected under Section 56 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Both procedural and substantive due process requires that one has notice, and one has choices and opportunities. Those have been taken away by the Statutory Instrument.”
The two also argue that the declaration has the effect of depriving one of his property and appropriating the same to the GMB at a price that is already fixed. And that it does not make economic sense.
According to the application, the regulations breach section 64 of the constitution which provides for freedom of profession or trade, as it forces an individual only to deal with the GMB at a fixed price.
“They do not meet any legitimate test or policy and therefore they should be struck down.”