No need for bread price increase- Haritatos

Haritatos's sentiments followed the recent approval of the increase of the wheat producer price by Cabinet of ZW$43 778.84 for standard wheat grade and ZW$52 534.61 for premium wheat grade, which has raised fears of bread price increase.

The deputy minister said farmers had started delivering their wheat to the Grain Marketing Board and to-date, 12690 metric tonnes had been delivered.

Meanwhile, economic analysts have expressed reservations on the approved prices saying it is not feasible for local wheat to be more expensive than the imported wheat, which is about US$400 per metric tonne.

Economic analyst, Cainos Mutedza argued that the new wheat price would increase the price of bread and put pressure on the foreign currency auction system, as millers would apply for foreign currency to import. Mutedza had also stated that the different prices to millers would create unnecessary arbitrage.

Meanwhile, producers have welcomed the review of wheat price saying the move will allow them to go back to the fields in the next farming season. Wheat growers who spoke to Harare Post said the viability of wheat production was critical in increasing production.

“We welcome the move by our Government to increase the producer price of wheat. With the new price, certainly we will be able to make profit and start preparations for the next 2020/21 farming season,” said Mr Samuel Muza from Zvimba.

Commenting on the same issue, Mr Tinoza Muyarara, a farmer from Macheke said the new prices would lead to increase in production.

“With these better prices, production will definitely increase and in turn cut on wheat import, saving foreign currency for the country,” said Muyarara.

Zimbabwe expects a decent wheat harvest this year, following Government’s timely provision of inputs.