To keep the retail price of roller meal at $70 for a 10kg bag, Government has raised the subsidy to $216,15 from the original $73,90 which will cushion millers against rising costs.
Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza revealed this in a statement on Monday.
“Cognisant of the Covid-19 pandemic, Government is committed to ensure that the prices of basic commodities, especially roller meal, should remain within the reach of the vulnerable,” she said.
Minister Nzenza said Government would continue subsidising the roller meal scheme to ascertain that the retail price remained at $70 per 10kg bag, with millers delivering to retailers at $63, “and receiving their subsidy as adjusted.” She said Government would continue to review the subsidy in consultation with stakeholders.
The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) welcomed the new subsidy, and concurred that it needed to be constantly reviewed.
“GMAZ welcomes the decision by the Government to extend the subsidy programme, especially during this lockdown period,” said GMAZ media and public relations manager Mr Garikai Chaunza.
“The announcement of the review of the subsidy announced by the minister, however, captures costs as at before 8 June, and we, on Wednesday 10 June, submitted current costing(s) and computations for a further upward review of the subsidy.
“We are happy that the Minister is committed to engaging the industry and we confirm that we have cordial relations with her ministry, which is our parent ministry and all the government departments.”
With prices of basic consumer goods rising, in December 2019, the Government implemented a subsidy on roller meal to guarantee easy access to Zimbabweans’ staple food, which saw registered grain millers buying maize from the Grain Marketing Board at a subsidised price of $4 000 per tonne.
The price for a 10kg bag of roller meal was pegged at $50 then, and was increased to $70 in February this year.
Treasury committed to settle the subsidy based on verified roller meal production by millers basing on the grain allocated by the GMB. The verification is to ensure that the grain is bought, milled and delivered to shops before the subsidy is effected.
A team comprising officials from the ministries of Finance and Economic Development and Industry and Commerce, as well as the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority was tasked to verify production of the roller meal.
Grain millers are required to register with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to safeguard efficiency of the programme
However, shortages of the subsidised roller meal on the formal market have seen unscrupulous individuals hoarding stocks, and reselling them on the black market at extortionate prices.