MWENEZI - Farmers who are desperate for cash are selling their millet to middle men who are buying their grain for $120 per tonne and then selling it to the Grain Marketing Board for $390, a survey by The Mirror has shown.
The farmers are emptying their grainaries of old stock as they are all looking forward to a bumper harvest this year. The price means that a 50kg pack of millet is going for only $6.
The $390 is a Government gazetted price which is being violated by the middlemen.
When contacted for comment the Rutenga GMB Depot Supervisor in Charge Tawanda Masiyambiri refused to comment and referred all questions to Masvingo GMB Manager who could not be reached for comment up to the time of going to Press.
The Harare buyers are attracting a large number of farmers as they pay cash on the spot. Farmers are avoiding GMB because sometimes it takes years before they get payments for their grain deliveries.
Taurai Ndlovu a millet farmer from Care-wood resettlement area in Village 1 under Chief Neshuro complained bitterly that they were being robbed by deceitful people from Harare who were buying their millet at cheap prices.
"We are being exploited by middlemen but there is nothing we can do because we are desperate for cash. It takes ages to get paid by our local GMB and many farmers also don't have transport to get the millet to the depot," said Ndlovu.
Tendai Mandora a farmer also complained against the middlemen.
"How can they buy a bucket of millet for only $3?" queried Mandora.