RBZ Issuing New Letters Of Credit To Import Grain

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is expected to issue new letters of credit (LCs) worth US$10 million to import grain from various African countries as government moves to avert grain shortages.

The development comes amid an acute deficit in mealie-meal with reports also suggesting that millers are reluctant to release mealie-meal before the government increases prices.

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Speaking to Business Times, RBZ governor, Dr John Mangudya said that the central bank has since last August been and more will continue to issue LCs to head off starvation. He said:

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is issuing letters of credit, processed through local banks and guaranteed by the Afreximbank, to ensure imports of the grain so that the population has enough food.

Zimbabwe is in dire need of grain following the El Nino induced drought last year and poor Agricultural policies over the years, leaving over 8m people in need of food aid.

Resultantly, the country has, in addition to appealing to stakeholders and sympathisers for assistance, been importing maize from South Africa and Tanzania and is looking into Uganda for more maize to ensure food security.

Meanwhile, there have been reports in the media suggesting that some millers are exporting the subsidised maize to the Democratic Republic of Congo at a time when 75% of the population is facing starvation.

More: Business Times



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