THE Grain Marketing Boarding (GMB) is asserting itself as one of the fastest recovering parastatals in the country as it seeks to add three new products to its Silo brand this year in a bid to intensify its diversification and commercialisation strategy.
As one of its commercialisation and restructuring initiatives GMB unbundled into two main units, the Strategic Grain Reserve and a Special Purpose Vehicle company with four commercial strategic business units namely; commodity trading and logistics, farming and farmer support, agro-processing, and poly-bag manufacturing.
“We are very satisfied with the way our commercialisation process is taking shape. For instance you have to realise that we have opened two state-of-the art milling plants in Harare and Bulawayo all worth $1 million and it’s my pleasure to announce that we did all this from our own finances not that of Government so it just goes to show the route we are taking.
“Last year we introduced two new products namely soya mince and jam thus we increased the number of our products and this year we are going to venture into the manufacturing of bottled water and peanut butter. We also have a financier whom we are working with who will bring us some equipment that will be producing 100 000 loaves of bread per day and the first bakery will probably be in Gweru or Bulawayo,’’ said GMB general manager Mr Albert Mandizha.
GMB is working on rebranding its silo products as it strives to regain lost market share.
Through its commercial unit, GMB produces rice, mealie-meal, salt, beans, samp, soya mince and jam.
GMB was forced to close its bakeries in Marondera, Bindura, Masvingo and Mutare at the height of the country’s economic meltdown due to the rampant shortage of wheat and in the process failed to open the other bakeries in Gwanda and Chitungwiza.
Mr Mandizha said the company would increase the number of its contract farmers cropping maize, soya beans and groundnuts.
GMB held its second annual general meeting (AGM) after 81 years three weeks ago in line with Government’s Corporate Governance Framework.
AGMs constitute an important legal platform for the renewal, confirmation, regulation or authorisation by shareholders of a cocktail of governance arrangements as well as future programmes of the entity. Failure to hold AGMs denies Government, as shareholder, the opportunity to exercise its ownership functions as provided for under the Companies Act.