Mealie meal shortages loom as GMB cuts grain supplies to millers

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

GOVERNMENT’S cereal agent, Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has cut maize grain supplies to millers by 40% in a move likely to trigger shortages of the staple mealie-meal on the domestic market.

Most grain processors in Zimbabwe get their supplies from GMB.

Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) deputy chair, Masimba Dzomba, in-charge of the association’s southern region, said GMB’s move is likely to affect Matabeleland region mostly.

“I can confirm that our maize supplies from GMB have been reduced by plus or minus 40% and this means that we will not be able to supply mealie-meal to all retail shops in our sphere of influence, not because we do not have the capacity but simply because we will not be having the raw material (maize) to mill,” said Dzomba.

The GMAZ official said Matabeleland region, a drought prone area due to low rainfall patterns, is likely to be severely affected by the move.

“We anticipate this move to worst affect Matabeleland region because of its dryness,” said Dzomba.

Matabeleland region has been hardest hit by the current draught.

The country never received adequate rainfall during the 2018/19 agricultural season due to El Nino.

Reached for comment GMB, spokesperson Lillian Zemura requested questions in writing.

She had not responded at the time of producing this report.

GMB has come under fire for turning the screws on millers following its unpopular decision recently to hike the price of wheat by 67 percent.

The move will likely result in bread shortages or increases with the ordinary Zimbabweans set to be worst affected.