Zim running out of wheat….as another bread price increase looms

The country is on the verge of a running out of wheat and the government has no tangible solution in place to curb the imminent crisis,the Zim Morning Post has learnt.

The alert was issued by the National Foods Chief Executive Officer, Michael Lashbrook at an extraordinary meeting on drought assessment organised by the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) at a Harare hotel on Friday.

Minister of Industry and Commerce Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndhlovu said there was nothing in place to solve the looming crisis:

“As government we will do our best to support the adequate supply of wheat in the country”

However, Ndhlovu said the government was more concerned with the sustainability of wheat farming in the country instead of importation.

“Given that we are in the advent of winter wheat cropping season, I want us to try and support more the farming of wheat so that we can reap at least 6 months of our own local supply of wheat and reduce importation”

“I am quite worried about the rate of wheat importation especially if we are importing 9 months supply on the back drops of such constrained forex earnings”

However, Graeme Murdoch of PHI Commodities said the government has done little to equip farmers with much needed inputs even though the season was starting next week.

“Nothing has so far been done to equip farmers with enough foreign currency, and I can say with certainty that no one has ever received the US dollars that are needed to buy inputs”

Zimbabwe has been having a wheat crisis since last year which has been witnessed by shortage of bread in the country and also massive price hikes. This year alone bread price increased from $1 to $2.70.

According to GMAZ, the country needs at least 160 000 metric tonnes of wheat annually.

The country uses US$100 million every year to import wheat that can sustain the country’s demand.