grain millers.jpgLocal millers are lobbying government to consider putting in place measures that will protect the sector in the forthcoming national budget.

 

The Local Grain Millers Association is proposing a 20% duty on bakers flour and 40 % duty on pre-packaged flour, in addition to an increase on the 10%  duty on mealie-meal as well as extensive support for the agriculture sector.

Addressing a Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce 2012 national budget consultative forum, the grain millers said the sector is facing stiff competition from their foreign counterparts.

“We have low capacity utilisation of around 40% while our competitors in South Africa are operating at around 65% capacity utilisation, so when they want to export to Zimbabwe they simply increase to 75%.

 

We are not producing enough but at the same time we are trying to revive the industry,” said one grain miller.

In a telephone interview, economic analyst Mr. Johannes Chiminya , however said such measures, while beneficial to industry, could raise prices for the end consumers as agricultural production is still low.

Sections of industry such as poultry producers have in the past failed to meet market demand following the implementation of protectionist mechanisms.