AMA back on the market to raise $80m

HARARE – The Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) said on Tuesday it is seeking to mobilise an additional $80 million, through Treasury Bills, to be used by the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to finance the purchase of grain produced this season.   

Zimbabwe is expecting a bumper harvest of over 2.7 million tonnes of cereals after a largely successful 2016/17 summer cropping season.

The success was in part aided by the government Command Agriculture programme where farmers were provided with the necessary inputs required to improve their production.

Farmers are currently delivering their maize to the GMB, which is tasked with securing the country’s grain reserves and they expect to be paid timeously.

AMA, an institution under the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development last month announced it had successfully mobilized $50 million for the purpose via the debt instrument.

“The Agricultural Marketing Authority intends to issue AMA Bills of up to $80 000 000 to finance the purchase of maize for the 2017 buying season through the Grain Marketing Board,” it said in a joint statement with its financial advisors, CBZ Holdings.

The bills have an interest rate of 7.5 percent per annum and a tenor of 360 days.

Special features of the bills which have a government guarantee include prescribed asset status, liquid asset status and tax exemption status.

The offer to subscribe opens on Monday 24 July and is open but not limited to pension and provident funds, insurance companies, life mutual, commercial banks and interested individuals.

The bills are one of the means through which the government is mobilizing resources to fund its operations.

The GMB is paying farmers $390 per tonne of maize. – New Ziana

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