Bread sup­plies im­prove

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Elita Chik­wati Se­nior Agri­cul­ture Re­porter

BREAD sup­plies have im­proved in most parts of the coun­try due to in­creased flour sup­plies, the Grain Millers As­so­ci­a­tion of Zim­babwe (GMAZ) has said.

Over the past weeks bread has been in short sup­ply and some peo­ple had been taking ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion to hike the price of the ba­sic com­mod­ity.

GMAZ chair­man Mr Tafadzwa Musarara con­firmed that bread sup­ply had im­proved on the mar­ket fol­low­ing the re­cent wheat de­liv­er­ies from Beira.

“We have man­aged to move 75 per­cent of the wheat that was in Beira,” he said. “It is now here and we are sup­ply­ing about 650 tonnes of flour every day for bread mak­ing out of a re­quire­ment of 750 tonnes.

“So, we are im­prov­ing. We be­lieve that by November 20, we should be able to sup­ply bak­eries their re­quire­ments and also pro­duce ex­cess self-rais­ing flour for house­holds. You can see that the avail­abil­ity of bread has im­proved.”

GMAZ last month sus­pended the sup­ply of bread and self-rais­ing flour to bis­cuit and con­fec­tionery bak­ing en­ti­ties to pri­ori­tise bread pro­duc­tion.

Mr Musarara said millers were work­ing hard to en­sure that there would be enough sup­plies of ba­sic com­modi­ties dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son.

“We re­quire 45 000 tonnes of bread flour, 10 000 tonnes of salt and 50 000 tonnes of rice to cater for the fes­tive sea­son,” he said.

Mean­while, the Grain Mar­ket­ing Board has so far re­ceived 80 000 tonnes of wheat from farm­ers.

GMB gen­eral man­ager, Mr Rockie Mutenha, con­firmed that farm­ers were de­liv­er­ing their wheat at the paras­tatal’s de­pots.

“Farm­ers are de­liv­er­ing wheat at our de­pots,” he said.

“The tar­get for wheat de­liv­er­ies is 135 000 tonnes from the Agri­tex crop as­sess­ment re­port.”

The coun­try re­quires 460 000 tonnes of wheat every year.

Wheat pro­duc­tion had de­clined with the coun­try be­com­ing a net im­porter of the com­mod­ity as farm­ers were no longer in­ter­ested in grow­ing the crop due to high pro­duc­tion costs.

Govern­ment had to in­clude wheat un­der Com­mand Agri­cul­ture to pro­gres­sively in­crease pro­duc­tion to re­duce the deficit and en­sure na­tional food se­cu­rity.

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