ZIMBABWE – The Zimbabwe Mercantile Exchange (ZMX) has announced that it will begin trading maize on the commodities market after the Government liberalized the trading in the strategic grain, with effect immediately.

Previously, under Statutory Instrument 145 of 2019 (SI 145), ZMX was not allowed to trade maize as the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) was the sole trader of maize.

Therefore, ZMX contends the development would boost volumes on the exchange allowing producers to start trading on their maize from the current cropping season on the exchange.

The announcement was made by Collen Tapfumaneyi, the ZMX chief executive officer (CEO in an interview with the Herald.

“Through Statutory Instrument (SI 56 of 2023) Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr. Anxious Masuka listed ZMX as one of the authorized agencies to participate in the trade of maize,” he noted.

According to Collen, this move enables the exchange to fully realize its mandate of facilitating the trade of the country’s agricultural commodities, allowing farmers to enjoy a fair price discovery.

Having maize trading on the ZMX means we now participate in one of the major commodities in the country,” said Mr. Collen.

He disclosed that maize volumes are huge in this country outstripping any other commodities on the market, hence, Collan noted that if a commodities exchange does not allow for its trading, then the business will be very low.

One of the key objectives of the ZMX is to provide an open market for commodities, with willing buyers and willing sellers providing price discovery mechanisms.

The exchange also ensures a timeous settlement of transactions, on a willing buyer, willing seller basis with both parties agreeing on the price. The agency noted that this would not work if major products are subject to restricted trading or monopoly.

According to Government, “authorized agency” means “(a) any Government parastatal or entity acting on behalf of the Government that is involved in the collection, storing, distribution or marketing of agricultural produce; or (b) the Zimbabwe Mercantile Exchange; and “authorized person” shall be construed accordingly.”

The SI also states that a registered self-financed farmer who is a maize producer or seller (whether registered as an individual, statutory body, company, entity, or another person) may sell or otherwise dispose of any maize through a certified warehouse registered with the ZMX or to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).

The SI also states that no person who is not a producer of maize, or a contractor or the agent of a producer or contractor authorized to sell the maize on his, her, or its behalf, or a self-financed farmer shall sell maize to the agencies, except on conditions approved by the Minister.

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