By Alois Vinga
THE Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has given the green light to local traders to hike mealie-meal, flour and rice prices within cost structures that are affordable to the general public.
A price list released by the association’s technical and committee on finance and costing says that 5 kgs of mealie meal can now be sold at a retail price of $3.85 while 10 kgs will now be sold at $7.16 with 20 kgs of the same product being sold at $13.96.
Similarly, 2 kgs of rice will now be sold at $7.49.
In light of serious cost pressures being experienced in flour production arising from non-wheat expenditures, the price of bread flours has also been increased from $36.50 per 50 kgs to $39.65 which translates to an increase of 3 cents per loaf of bread.
“In an attempt to maximize consumer purchase value this festive season, GMAZ at its meeting of Tuesday 27 November 2018, received, accepted and endorsed a report from its Technical Committee on Finance and Costing. Indeed with effect from December 1 2018, maximum prices of our staple products are hereby recommended as above,” said GMAZ chair, Tafadzwa Musarara in a statement.
The association said that the motive behind the price hikes was to protect innocent consumers who have been affected by the speculative pricing pattern currently affecting the market.
GMAZ is the apex representative body of the milling industry.
The announcement comes a month after the association has blocked attempts by the sector to hike prices on the basis that packaging materials had risen by over 500 percent.
They also made attempts to sell their products in foreign currency as they cited that manufacturers of packaging material were demanding payment in United States dollars.