Grain millers re­ceive 30 000 tonnes of wheat

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

THE Grain Millers As­so­ci­a­tion of Zim­babwe (GMAZ) has started re­ceiv­ing the 30 000 tonnes of wheat im­ported re­cently and millers who had tem­po­rar­ily closed shop due to the un­avail­abil­ity of the ce­real are now ex­pected to re­sume op­er­a­tions.

The wheat was se­cured by GMAZ on an in­stal­ment pre­pay­ment ar­range­ment.

The wheat landed at Beira, Mozam­bique re­cently.

It was re­leased af­ter the Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe paid the bal­ance owed to Hol­bud’s Lithua­nian.

Ad­dress­ing jour­nal­ists yes­ter­day at Olivine Plant in Wil­low­vale where the as­so­ci­a­tion had re­ceived part of the con­sign­ment, GMAZ chair­man, Mr Tafadzwa Musarara said it was im­por­tant that the coun­try con­tin­ued to have bread-mak­ing wheat.

“We ex­pect that by Wed­nes­day next week, the millers that had shut down will re-open and start pro­duc­ing,” he said.

“We have listed the top nine millers to be pri­ori­tised in terms of wheat flour sup­plies who ac­count for the 92 per­cent sup­plies of the mar­ket.”

Mr Musarara ex­pressed con­cern over panic buy­ing on the mar­ket, say­ing it was wors­en­ing the sit­u­a­tion.

He said wheat was com­pet­ing with fer­tiliser im­ports and this had de­layed its de­liv­ery as the Na­tional Rail­ways of Zim­babwe was over­whelmed.

“If the NRZ had been bring­ing in 40 wag­ons a day, the sit­u­a­tion would take 10 days to nor­malise,” he said.

“We are ready to sup­ply the mar­ket and all we need to sup­ply is in place and the only chal­lenge is with the NRZ. We hope NRZ im­proves.”

GMAZ in­tends to buy 120 000 tonnes of wheat lo­cally at $310 per tonne.

Mr Musarara said millers were also lob­by­ing for a pro­ducer price of $730 per tonne when GMB buys from farm­ers.

“We rec­om­mend that millers con­tinue to buy the wheat from GMB at last year’s price of $310 per tonne,” he said.

Mr Musarara said peo­ple were shift­ing pref­er­ences from maize to flour and rice, in­creas­ing de­mand for wheat prod­ucts.

“The RBZ should con­tinue to as­sist us with fund­ing,” he said.

“We are now en­ter­ing into the fes­tive sea­son and we are now work­ing on en­sur­ing that there will be enough wheat, rice and salt dur­ing that pe­riod . . .

“Af­ter next week, we need to make fur­ther payments. We should have a six months plan as it takes a long pe­riod for the ship to load and come.”

Zim­babwe re­quires about 460 000 tonnes of wheat an­nu­ally.

The na­tional wheat re­quire­ment is 38 000 tonnes a month and the cur­rent na­tional con­sump­tions stands at 1,5 mil­lion loaves a day.

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