ZIMBABWE – Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has received 30,000 tonnes of wheat imported from Germany to address shortage that had seen millers temporarily cease operations, reports the Herald.
The move follows foreign payments of wheat stocks by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) owed to Holbud’s Lithuanian, who had held the consignments due to unpaid balance.
The delivery of the wheat will build on the current stock and avert a potential bread shortage in the country.
Speaking on the delivery, GMAZ chairman, Mr Tafadzwa Musarara said despite challenges, the association was working to ensure wheat for making bread was available in the country.
“We have secured a total of 30 000 tonnes of wheat from Lithuania thanks to RBZ which made payments a couple of weeks.
Wagons are already in their way from Beira and Mutare to bring in wheat supplies.
“The 30 000 tonnes will sustain the country for the next 22 days.
There will be no bread shortages if there may be any it will be down to National Railways of Zimbabwe distribution networks not forex,” said Musarara.
He said they were having problems with National Railways of Zimbabwe which is transporting the wheat, including delays in deliveries.
“We expect that by Wednesday next week, the millers who had shut down will re-open and start producing.
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,” he said.
The batch is part of the 200,000 metric tonnes of wheat deal negotiated and concluded with Canada and Germany wheat growers and suppliers in Toronto.
It comes when the country has been facing foreign shortages which have seen manufacturers run short of basic raw materials primarily imported.
According to the millers’ association, the country is consuming 38 000 tonnes of wheat per month mainly through the production of bread, confectioneries, biscuits and other flour-related products.
Zimbabwe needs an annual 400 000 metric tonnage of wheat to meet its demand of about 950 000 loaves of bread per day.