Presented to Parliament in August 2014
1.1 The Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation resolved to conduct an enquiry into the state of preparedness of the Grain Marketing Board (G.NIB), AGRIBANK and Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) for the 2013/2014 summer cropping season. The enquiry was motivated by the Committee's commitment for the successful implementation of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIM-ASSET) especially the Food Security and Nutrition Cluster. ZIM-ASSET Chapter 7 postulates that "The thrust of the Food Security and Nutrition Cluster is to create a self sufficient and food surplus economy and see Zimbabwe re-emergence as the Bread Basket of Southern Africa". In that spirit, the Committee observed that the agricultural sector is the backbone of the Zimbabwean economy and contributes significantly to national development.
2.1 In its enquiry the Committee was guided by the following objectives;
1. To assess the state of preparedness of the GMB, Agribank and AMA for the 2013/2014 summer cropping season.
2. To appreciate challenges being faced by parastatals falling within the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development in fulfilling their mandate.
3. To offer recommendations for improvements in the agricultural production, grain storage, marketing and food security component.
In undertaking this inquiry the Committee adopted the following methodology.
3.1 ORAL EVIDENCE SESSIONS
The Committee held oral evidence sessions with the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development on the operations, strategies and funding of the GMB and the state of preparedness for the 2013/2014 agricultural season. The Committee also invited the GMB for oral evidence on their operational and financial challenges and preparedness for the 2013/14 agricultural season. In an effort to understand the agricultural products marketing status, the Committee invited the AMA for an oral evidence session on the government's policies regarding purchase and sale of maize and other grains by both private and public (GMB) institutions. The Committee also invited AGRIBANK to appreciate the capacity of the bank to finance the current agricultural season and the agricultural sector in general. The Committee also received written submissions from AMA, GMB and the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.
3.2 On-Site Visits
The Committee visited GMB Aspindale premises. The tour was meant to get a practical appreciation of the state of GMB infrastructure including silos and the challenges being faced in carrying out their mandate. The Committee had an opportunity to meet the whole GMB Administration from all the provinces at that particular visit.