The government through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has intervened to avert a pending bread shortages by availing foreign currency towards the importation of wheat in a move that has been hailed by the industry.
The Food and Nutrition Cluster is one of the critical areas on the central bank’s foreign currency allocation list.
Therefore, the government has moved in to avert a pending crisis of wheat shortage in the country in the face of a change of lifestyle by Zimbabweans which has seen demand for wheat almost doubling since June this year.
Addressing journalists in Bulawayo on Thursday evening, Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe Chairman Mr Tafadzwa Musarara heaped praises on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration for considering the industry’s plight by availing funding enough to supply the nation for a month.
“We have been affected by lack of wheat locally which has seen a steep price of bread with the industry only supplying to urban areas as we have been producing 50 percent of national demand. However, I want to thank the leadership for allowing the industry to make a solution to the pending crisis which is a first in this country. We hope and believe that the wheat situation will start improving in the next two weeks but pricing will not likely to change as demand globally is outweighing supply,” said Mr Musarara.
On the pending El Nino induced drought, Mr Musarara says industry is in talks with government to ensure that key supplies are in stock, urging people to avoid panic buying of commodities like rice since mechanisms to ensure availability of such products will be put in place.
The Grain Millers Association expressed hope that the coming on board of a new minister will translate to change of policy with regards to food fortification which the association says is meant to create unnecessary demand for forex through the importation of ingredients to fortify products like flour and mealie meal.