Zim receives 3 000 tonnes wheat consignment

ZIMBABWE yesterday took delivery of 3 000 tonnes of wheat, averting possible bread shortages, but millers warned that this was not enough to meet demand.

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA

The delivery is part of the 30 000 tonnes consignment paid for by the central bank last month. Grain Miller Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) chairperson Tafadzwa Musarara yesterday said the 30 000 tonnes consignment would be enough for 22 days.

“We have four companies which have received a combined 50 wagons of wheat which makes 3 000 tonnes. We are talking of Blue Ribbon, National Foods, the storage facility at Olivine and Victoria Foods. We have come here for other millers who don’t have rail to their premises who form the majority of those millers who have suspended their operations,” he said.

Musarara said all companies which had suspended operations — Victoria Foods, Unifoods, Wheat Star, Power Foods, Falcon Foods and Oriental Milling — should resume production by Wednesday next week.

Bread prices went up last month, but the GMAZ chairperson ruled out further price increases. “The arrival of the remaining wheat is dependent on NRZ,” he said.

The country needs at least $20 million per month to meet rice, salt and wheat requirements. Musarara said millers will apply for $60 million in foreign currency to cater for the last three months of the year.

Zimbabwe is currently producing less than a third of its national wheat requirements estimated at between 350 000 tonnes to 400 000 tonnes per annum, and relies largely on imports.

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