Grain Marketing Board (GMB) officials said the retrenchments are part of cost cutting measures to rationalise operations by the loss making parastatal.
GMB corporate communications manager, Muriel Zemura said the firm’s monthly salary bill stood at US$1.2 million against monthly expenditure of US$1.7million.
“The GMB’s total monthly expenditure stood at US$1.7 million hence the need to retrench staff to bring the salary bill down to about US$500 000.
Zemura said the retrenchments are necessitated by the fact that the grain parastatal is struggling to find its footing after years of collapse.
“Production levels at GMB fell tremendously to an extent that there was no active labour at some of our depots, hence the decision to retrench,” Zemura noted.
“The exercise covers everyone from the groundsman to senior management and numbers differ as depots perform differently financially.”
GMB is one of the loss making parastatals that have over the years been knocked down to their knees due to a combination of lack of working capital, corruption and mismanagement.
The government plans to privatise GMB, that buys farmers produce.The loss making grain parastatal has been struggling to pay farmers for maize deliveries, a situation that resulted in it being dragged to court over outstanding payments.