Andile Tshuma, Chronicle Reporter
THE Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) is engaging the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to avail US$12,5 million to import wheat to avert bread shortages.
In a telephone interview yesterday, GMAZ Public Relations Manager Mr Garikai Chaunza said there is an urgent need for foreign currency.
“Wheat stocks have drastically declined and we are in communication with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to unlock wheat consignments which are in Beira and Harare. We are also constantly updating our key stakeholders who include bakers on the obtaining situation,” he said.
Mr Chaunza said a wheat consignment had been secured but was in Mozambique and could only be accessed after payments had been made in forex.
“We have 30 000 metric tonnes of wheat in Beira which needs to be paid for. US$12, 5 million is needed urgently so that the wheat can come,” he said.
“We are also jointly working with Beira in engaging the authorities on a number of issues that will improve bread supplies”.
Mr Chaunza said at the moment the country has no wheat stocks in its coffers but the consignment from Beira was expected to alleviate this situation.
Most shops, particularly in the western suburbs of Bulawayo, had no bread yesterday.
The flour situation is expected to improve as the private sector is targeting 90 000 tonnes of wheat output under contract farming this year after securing adequate inputs worth US$12 million.