Bread supplies expected to improve as wheat imports increase

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By Audience Mutema

ZIMBABWE’S bread supply situation is expected to improve on the back of increased flour inflows into the country, Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) chair, Tafadzwa Musarara has said.

Musarara, in a statement Tuesday, said flour supplies have increased to 500 metric tonnes a day, which is the equivalent of 1 million loaves.

“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 which is equivalent to 1 million loaves against a national daily supply demand of 1.4 million loaves.

“We are therefore calling 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.

“This development follows the intervention of President Emmerson Mnangagwa that unlocked significant wheat grain stocks to the milling industry, the supply of bread to the market is recovering,” Musarara said.

He said the millers group was also grateful over a government move to allow private sector players to also import wheat.

“Wheat imports have started coming in from Beira and we are grateful for the dispensation we got from government to allow private sector to import 100, 000 metric tonnes of wheat and clear the pipeline before Grain Marketing Board becomes the exclusive importer of wheat.

“The critical importance of wheat, flour and bread to the national food security and social stability cannot be over emphasised. In this regard, the millers remain keen to engage with all stakeholders,” said Musarara.

Zimbabwe has been grappling with wheat supply shortages in the past decade with critics blaming the situation on government’s land reform process that disrupted commercial farming activities in the country while drought has also contributed to the situation.

The past few weeks saw bread supplies drop sharply with tuck-shop owners in Harare’s high density residential suburbs selling the staple at ZWL$6 a loaf, up from the recommended $3.40.