Zimbabwe’s Grain Millers Assure Adequate Mealie-Meal Supply

Grain millers announce contingency measures to ensure food security and economic stability

by Victor Adetimilehin

Zimbabweans can breathe a sigh of relief as local grain millers have announced contingency measures to ensure enough mealie-meal stocks for the nation.

The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) said the recent ‘artificial’ shortages of the staple food in most supermarkets and retail shops were caused by the 2024 budget pronouncements that hiked taxes and disrupted the economy.

However, the situation has improved after the government revised the taxes and restored stability in the market, according to GMAZ Chairman Tafadzwa Musarara.

“We are back in business and have resumed supplies. We have talked to retailers to see the status of the supply situation. The issue of availability is correcting itself,” Musarara told the media while on a tour of shops in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West province.


Challenges and Solutions

Musarara said some of the challenges faced by the retailers were lack of working capital to pay for the product, which is sold on a cash-on-delivery basis, and profiteering by some informal and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) that sold the product way above the stipulated profit margins.

He urged consumers to be vigilant and report any cases of overpricing or hoarding to the authorities. Musarara also appealed to the retailers to adhere to the pricing mechanisms and protect the consumers from exploitation.

He said GMAZ had met with the retailers and agreed on a payment plan that would ensure consistent and timely delivery of the product.

“We have also engaged the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to facilitate foreign currency allocation for wheat and maize imports. We have enough stocks in the country and at the ports of entry to cover the national demand until the next harvest,” he said.


Demand and Supply

Musarara said the demand for mealie-meal had increased due to the fears of an impending drought and the rising prices of bread and rice, which are alternative sources of starch.

He said GMAZ was working closely with the government and other stakeholders to monitor the situation and provide timely interventions.

Musarara assured the nation that there was no need to panic as the local market was adequately and sufficiently provided for by local millers.

He also commended the government for its efforts to support the agricultural sector and boost local production of grains.

Musarara said the association was investing in new technologies and innovations to improve the quality and efficiency of its operations.

He also stated that GMAZ was exploring new markets and opportunities for its products in the region and beyond.

Musarara expressed optimism that the grain milling industry would continue to grow and contribute to the vision of transforming Zimbabwe into an upper-middle-income economy by 2030.

Source: New Zimbabwe

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