By Joyce Mukucha
The government has challenged the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to execute its mandate by ensuring that it becomes an active participant in driving the nation’s economic vibrance and growth agenda.
The Grain Marketing Board occupies a central role in safeguarding the country’s food security but its operational inefficiencies have affected the successful execution of its mandate.
This was revealed on Wednesday by the Minister of Lands, Water and Rural Resettlement Dr. Anxious Masuka.
He stressed that it was imperative for the GMB to urgently eradicate challenges in paying farmers for grain deliveries.
“There is a need for the transformation of the GMB from a beneficiary in the agricultural value chain to an active participant for the receipt, distribution, accountability, use and grain intake for Presidential Schemes. Thus you need to develop the Agriculture and Food Transformation Strategy, the Agricultural Recovery plan and the National Development Strategy,” he said.
He urged the board to develop sustainable financing mechanisms for the purchase and sale of grain ahead of the 2020/21 summer marketing season.
The GMB board was also challenged to adopt modern business practices to optimise the company’s operations.
“There is a need for improving internal capacity, capability, and competencies to generate the requisite efficiencies for the delivery of seamless services and ensuring that objectives are met through robust plans,” Dr. Masuka said.
As part of state enterprise reforms, GMB operations were separated from commercial activities for it to focus on creating a strategic grain reserve for the country.
Late last year, some commodities exchange was being resuscitated after it was abandoned when GMB assumed a monopoly over maize and wheat.