GRAIN Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has started receiving part of the 30 000 metric tonne consignment of wheat which is expected to alleviate the current shortages of bread and self raising flour on the market.
The arrival of the wheat is also expected to result in the reopening of bakeries that had closed owing to the shortage of wheat in recent weeks.
According to GMAZ chairman Tafadzwa Musarara the consignment was delayed owing to late payment of the supplier by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
“Olivine has given us space to off load the wheat for about 8 millers without rail sidings and the wheat we shall bring in is equivalent for 22 days. By Wednesday all mills shut down will be reopened. In the interim we have prioritized supply of wheat for self raising flour and bread. We require about 1.5million loaves a day but with the panic mode consumers it may take us time before we normalize the situation,” said Musarara.
He said the constant supply of bread throughout the country can only be guaranteed if the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) allocates 30-40 wagons a day to transport wheat from Mozambique.
Additionally the RBZ should ensure timely payments to suppliers to ensure appropriate transport logistics are put in place.
“From now the only variable that needs to be monitored is the NRZ and ensure they bring in 30-40 tonnes a day to bring in the shipment but we should realize we are competing with fertilizer shipments also but no doubt NRZ will need to up its game this time around. The RBZ has categorized us as priority number 1 alongside fuel but we are not getting the same treatment. We only require US$20-25 million for salt rice and wheat”.