Forex woes blamed for bread shortages 

Source: Forex woes blamed for bread shortages | The Herald February 1, 2019

Forex woes blamed for bread shortages

Courtney Matende Midlands Reporter
The National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe has attributed the shortages of bread on the market to the lack of foreign currency to import wheat to make flour.

The association’s president Mr Ngoni Mazango said they had submitted applications for foreign currency to Government and were waiting for it to release the money.

“The Government has promised us an intervention on foreign currency which we require as bakers which was going to account for 80 percent of our forex requirement but in the month of November we only received 30 percent of the 80 percent.

“In December we received 27 percent of the 80 percent and this January we received 9 percent. We are grateful for the gesture but it is not enough,” said Mr Mazango.

He said they have been engaging Government and the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) on the way forward.

“Our stakeholders are saying they don’t have money to pay for wheat. We hope that they will address the issue as soon as possible before we run out of bread completely,” said Mr Mazango.

Bread supplies in the country have in the past two weeks declined drastically leading to shortages of the commodity on the market.

A survey by this publication this past week showed leading supermarkets and small shops in Gweru, Zvishavane and Kwekwe were now filling up the shelves reserved for bread with biscuits and cookies. Where bread is available it was being sold between $2 to $2,50 for a loaf.

Queues for bread in supermarkets which bake their own bread have now become a common sight.

Flour has also disappeared from the shelves.