According to the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) there is going to be an inevitable increase in the price of mealie-meal and wheat soon. GMAZ general manager Lynette Veremu blamed this impending increase to two things in particular:
- Millers are having a hard time accessing foreign currency through the interbank rate. This has forced most to rely on the black market where rates are much higher.
- The government recently increased producer prices for wheat and maize. This was done in a bid to encourage more people to grow the crops.
The manufactures of packaging, which includes the government-owned Tregers are now demanding payment in foreign currency.
It is difficult if not impossible for millers to obtain the foreign currency on the interbank market for such a local transaction and consequently millers are now resorting to parallel market which has a premium rate currently at 1:8.
The milling industry is yet to adjust its prices as discussions with the Industry Ministry are being concluded.
New prices, indicating the maximum recommended retail prices, will be published in all major newspapers nationwide shortly. Our monitoring teams will be in the field to promote adherence.
Ms. Veremu said that the new prices would only be announced after the association has consulted widely with other stakeholders.