14 September 2018
The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe has assured the nation there will be no bread crisis after importing 30 000 metric tonnes of wheat expected to arrive on Monday.
It has been established that the final payment of the shipment by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is expected to be made today.
Addressing media yesterday, GMAZ chairperson Tafadzwa Musarara said they are committed to avert the crisis.
“The GMAZ, RBZ and Ministry of Agriculture have put in place comprehensive contingent measures for the expedited shipment of wheat into the country commencing Monday next week.
“We are confident that the final payment on this shipment will be paid tomorrow (today) by the Reserve Bank so that the final shipment will commence by road and rail into Zimbabwe.
“We aim to deploy 100 trucks to compliment rail,” he said.
GMAZ also revealed that they require US$30 million every month for bread and self-raising flour.
Current national wheat stocks are below national level but bread flour supplies to major bakeries are being prioritised.
Musarara also noted the on-going adverse El Nino induced weather that has negatively impacted on global wheat exports.
“The on-going adverse El Nino induced weather in the western world is negatively impacting major global wheat exporting countries such as Germany and USA.
“Their forecasted wheat supplies have been revised downwards, sending global prices to spike,” he said.
The entire African continent remains severely a net wheat importer.
Wheat imports into Zimbabwe have increased in the past 90 days from US$375MT to US$475MT, with the millers describing the change as too big to absorb.
Away from the wheat business, the association has pledged to donate towards the fight of cholera.
“Our hearts bleeds on the loss of lives due to cholera epidemic.
“As responsible corporate citizens we will be approaching the Minister of Health with our offer to assist with necessary provisions to combat this menace.”
“Recent wheat harvests in Zimbabwe have been seen as the highest since 1965 and Command Agriculture wheat production is by far the biggest import substitution.”
The association says they have already engaged the ministry of finance to procure 120,000 metric tonnes of local wheat.
“We are extremely committed in promoting local wheat farming in Zimbabwe and in January 2019, we will be announcing further assistance.”