BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
BAKERS say they were battling to contain flour prices because of the rise in the prices of imported wheat which had been caused by delays of cereal deliveries from abroad because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Millers import wheat from countries like Russia, Canada and Germany which are all under COVID-19-induced lockdowns.
These global lockdowns have resulted in vessels and containers arriving late with some slowing down operations.
This has triggered a global wheat price hike from $415 before the pandemic to about $450 per tonne, a move that will likely push the price of bread up if governments across the globe do not subsidise wheat and related products.
Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) said it was feeling the effects of the delays in the arrival of wheat imports.
“This predicament is with us as well but we are grateful to command agriculture which is giving us 200 000 tonnes of wheat which is 50% of our national requirement and this is going to save forex,” Musarara said.
“Together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Cabinet committee on grain mobilisation and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, were are monitoring and managing the situation. What we can confidently say is that we are food secure.
“We have a firm wheat supply pipeline where we are importing the cereal for two main reasons which are, to cover for the deficit arising from local wheat production so that we meet the 400 000 tonne national requirement and the second reason being that of enhancing the quality of bread flour.”
Zimbabwe requires 400 000 tonnes of wheat per year and has been producing only half of its national requirement.
Follow Harriet on Twitter