Harare – The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has called upon colleagues in the baking industry to shun baking of confectionery and biscuits so that they deploy the entire wheat flour supply to bread baking.
According to a July 9 statement, GMAZ chairman Tafadzwa Musarara said the flour supply is improving but still inadequate to meet the national daily demand for bread.
“The flour supply to the baking industry from wheat millers has started to improve and now set at 500 metric tonnes per day of flour,” Musarara said.
“This is equivalent to 1,000,000 (1million) loaves against a national daily demand of 1,400,00 (1.4million) loaves.”
The country has for long being going through a series of wheat and bread shortages as the association like many other sectors struggle to access foreign currency from the central bank in time to unlock wheat consignments mostly stocked in Beira.
Bread prices have also continued to go up in the face of the shortages with a loaf of bread now selling at a high of ZWL$5 at some business outlets whilst bakeries like Simbisa Brands confectionery unit, Bakers Inn has pegged the official retail price for a standard loaf at ZWL$4 from ZWL$3.50.
The biting foreign currency shortages have crippled the operations of many manufacturing sectors which rely on imports for production.
Meanwhile, government hopes that availability of foreign currency through the interbank market will improve following the coming to effect of Statutory Instrument (SI) 142 which effectively ended the use of multi-currencies and established the Zimbabwean dollar as the sole legal tender.
Yesterday, RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya told stakeholders at a business breakfast held in the capital that about US$9 million was traded on the interbank market, expressing optimism that the country is moving in the right direction.
Equity Axis News
Raynold Mhotseka is a Journalism and Media Studies student at the University of Zimbabwe. He serves as a news writer at financial research firm, Equity Axis where he is currently on attachment.