BY MISHMA CHAKANYUKA
AN increase in the price of maize meal is imminent due to the rise in the cost of procuring grain, an industry official has said.
Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe chairman, Tafadzwa Musarara told journalists on the sidelines of a meeting with Southern Region Millers in Bulawayo, that the cost of maize had gone up by close to 70%.
Masarara said: “There is going to be an increase, we can’t stomach the 70%.Today’s meeting was to discuss the next maize meal prices. We have agreed on the new prices and when we are going to increase it, but we cannot announce it to you before we inform the government about it.
“South America gives us maize. We think South America is going to be our biggest source of maize coming this season. We are not quite sure of how much they will be able to export to us given the disturbances in Venezuela.
“However, our first priority is the region so I will be leading a delegation to Zambia and South Africa to see how much maize we can get in the region. If there is any excess required then we will approach the Southern Americans.”
Maize is the main staple food crop in Zimbabwe. The country’s annual maize requirement for human consumption is around 1,6 million tonnes, while 300 000 tonnes is required for livestock feed.