Zimbabwe’s bread manufacturing industry spent US$48 million on processed flour imports in the just ended year amid calls for government to unveil incentives towards an improvement in wheat production.
Statistics made available to the ZBC News at the bread value chain conference in the capital on Thursday show Zimbabwe is facing challenges in the production of wheat, a key component of flour.
The data reflects that the nation is producing 61 000 metric tonnes of wheat per year against a requirement of 400 000 metric tonnes, creating a deficit of 340 000 metric tonnes.
Bakeries are therefore importing three metric tonnes of flour worth US$4 million per month, translating to US$48 million per year.
National Bakeries Association of Zimbabwe president Givemore Mesoemvura says persistent flour imports will impact viability and recovery of the industry.
“More needs to be done in order to restore business confidence and boost growth of the sector in the short to long term,” said Mesoemvura.
The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Davis Marapira says government is committed to come up with measures towards restoring business confidence in the wheat industry.
“Business confidence is critical as we seek to increase viability of the capital intensive but viable sector,” Marapira said.
Zimbabwe currently boasts of 250 bakeries producing 360 million loaves of bread per year.