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Cyclone Idai affects wheat importation

by Staff reporter
19 Mar 2019 at 23:02hrs | Views
Cyclone Idai has negatively impacted on the transportation of wheat from Mozambique into the country, with 100 trucks stuck at Beira due to poor road network, the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has said.

Some of the wheat was also affected by the rains, compromising its quality.

In an interview after appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Climate and Water, GMAZ chairman Mr Tafadzwa Musarara said wheat importation has also not been spared by the adverse weather. He said GMAZ was making efforts to ensure the wheat comes into the country and avert bread shortages.

"The main ports have been damaged and this is causing logistical challenges. We have 100 trucks of wheat we are supposed to receive from Beira. We have a ship docking at Maputo and we want to load the wheat to Chiqualaquala, then ferry it into Zimbabwe via Rutenga," he said.

Mr Musarara said there has been limited supplies of wheat and bakers are getting around 45 percent of their requirements. Commenting on why the country was importing another type of wheat for bread, Mr Musarara said the move was taken to improve the quality of the local bread.

"Any wheat can make bread depending on the quality required.

"We mix our wheat with the imported one to improve the quality of our flour and the bread," he said.

Some legislators recently challenged agriculture researchers to come up with varieties that can make bread rather than rely on imports. Another bakery in Gweru is also making bread from the local wheat.

Mr Musarara and other millers had appeared before Parliament to furnish the committee on the support provided by Government towards the procurement of grain and wheat.

The committee chairperson Mayor Wadyajena said the millers had not brought all the required information and said they should first compile all the required information before they return to give their oral evidence.

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Source - the herald