A bread shortage has hit the country as local millers struggle to access foreign currency needed to import wheat. As a result, a price hike is imminent.
Bread has disappeared from most shops in the country as most bakeries have not made deliveries for the past three days and according to information gathered by TechMag TV the situation is not expected to improve anytime soon.
A Lobels Zimbabwe official who spoke to TechMag TV said there was no bread being baked and they did not have a timeframe of when to start baking and making deliveries.This development has also resulted in the closure of Lobels shops such as the one along Simon Mazorodze.
“There is no bread, we did not bake anything the past 2 days.” said the official.
Bakers Inn said they had delivered bread in and around the country but this was not the case as most big shops did not have their product.
Marondera based Proton Bakeries noted that the bread shortage is attributable to increase in demand.
“Demand has increased and we are unable to keep up with that demand. Bread is being supplied but in small quantities and is only available in the morning in most big shops.” said a Proton official.
Wheat availability has not improved of late despite government implementing stop gap measures meant to alleviate supply but to date they have yielded little results.
Wheat production has declined from 186 243 metric tonnes in 2017 to 160 600 metric tonnes last year. Contract farmers under the Command Agriculture Programme accounted for 80 percent of the tonnage produced.
The country’s milling industry requires two types of wheat to produce bread-making flour most of which is imported. The main one is soft wheat, which constitutes between 90 to 92 percent of wheat used for bread making and can be produced locally.The other type is hard wheat which is also known as gristing wheat and constitutes between eight percent -10 percent.
Fuel shortages have continue to result in price hikes and a sharp increase in production costs which have adversely affected most bakeries.The only way out for them is to increase bread price a move that has been blocked by government several times.