Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has said the flour supply to the baking industry from wheat millers has started to improve with the delivery of equivalent to 1million loaves of bread expected in market against a national daily demand of 1.4million loaves.
In a press statement, GMAZ chairman Tafadzwa Musarara said 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 1million 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. This is equivalent to 1,000,000 (1million) loaves against a national daily demand of 1,400,000 (1.4million) loaves,” said Musarara.
GMAZ acknowledges the government for allowing private sector to import 100, 000 metric tonnes of wheat from Beira so as to reduce the import burden on Grain Marketing Board.
“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 GMB becomes the exclusive importer of wheat.”
“This development follows the intervention of the President of the Republic, His Excellency E.D Mnangagwa that unlocked significant wheat grain stocks to the milling industry. The supply of bread to the market is recovering,” said Musarara
GMAZ has called on baking industry to shun baking of confectionery and biscuits so that they deploy the entire wheat flour supply to bread baking.
“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,” said Musarara
GMAZ says Zimbabwe is not the only country importing wheat but the entire East and African region
“The entire East and African region is in a net importing position currently and the Zimbabwe situation is not unique. In order to deliver and guarantee availability and affordability of the flour and bread, government safety nets in the wheat value chain are welcome.”
“The critical importance of wheat, flour and bread to national food security and social stability cannot be over emphasised. In this regard, the millers remain keen to engage with all stakeholders,” said Musarara.
The government had suggested the replacement of bread with other commodities such as sweet potatoes, yams and porridge amid its shortages.
Allen Munoriyarwa, a Zimbabwean researcher had disagreed with the government’s suggestion that bread can easily be replaced with other commodities citing that they are scarce also and no longer affordable given that most Zimbabweans are in the informal sector.
“They are scarce also, and will not be ready substitutes. Some, actually most, people will have to make do without bread at all. It is no longer affordable, considering that most Zimbabweans are in the informal sector with no reliable incomes,” he said.
Against this background, GMAZ reports the increment in flour supply to the baking industry.