Nyore Madzianike Manicaland Bureau
The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has secured enough wheat for the festive season and has started moving the cereal into the country from neighbouring Mozambique.
GMAZ recently acquired 30 000 tonnes of wheat from international markets and the first consignment arrived at Forbes Border Post from Beira over the weekend.
The association’s chairman Mr Tafadzwa Musarara said delays in transporting wheat from Beira had contributed to the shortages of bread and flour in the country.
He said GMAZ dispatched 200 trucks to ferry wheat from Beira to Harare.
“NRZ is battling to move the shipment from the port to Zimbabwe,” he said.
“They are moving 15 to 20 wagons a day against a requirement of 60 wagons a day for us to normalise the flour and bread situation in Zimbabwe.
“We do not blame NRZ, but we feel the smooth flow of wheat imports is being affected. We are now sending 200 trucks and we will be having another 400 so that enough wheat flows into the country to take care of demand for the festive season.”
Mr Musarara said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) had committed to assist them with funds for their next shipment.
“If that goes on well and the shipment documents also sail through smoothly, we will have bread for Christmas,” he said.
“We are aiming to normalise the flour situation by November 20, 2018.”
Mr Musarara said they were also pinning their hopes on the winter wheat crop, which is being harvested.
“The harvest will assist, but local wheat alone does not make bread, hence we need imported wheat to make bread,” he said.
“We are hoping that the country will not sink into another shortage and we do not anticipate bread shortage as long as the imports are paid for. We had suspended supply to biscuits companies and I am happy to say that by end of next week we will be able to supply to everyone, although priority will be given to bread bakers.”