By John Sigauke
DCK Bakeries which bakes bread using 100% locally produced wheat, is set to expand after Homelink has disbursed US$600 000 to the company, The Harare Post has learnt.
The Gweru based bakery is set to establish five more bakeries in Chimanimani and Chipinge after receiving the money from Homelink. The company had applied for US$8 million loan from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe with a view to setting up bakeries in most parts of the country.
Analysts say the expansion of DCK Bakeries will promote import substitution as major bakeries such as Lobels, Proton and Bakers Inn, import wheat on the argument that the local wheat produces poor quality bread.
Economic analysts say the expansion of Douglas Kwande owned bakeries will cushion low income earners as major bakeries are conniving to hike prices of bread. A loaf from the conventional bakeries is going for $5 to $8. DCK loaf costs only $3.50.
Nevertheless, bread has been a rare sight on supermarket shelves for some weeks now as it has joined other products on the black market where it is being sold at double the gazetted price. Citizens interviewed by this publication implored the authorities to descend heavily on the bakers who are selling bread on black market.
The bakers deny selling bread on the black market saying vendors, like any other customers, are buying a lot of bread from the supermarkets for resale in streets. Although they deny, their delivery vehicles have been seen offloading bread at black markets where they are paid in hard cash.
Analysts say that Government can arrest the bread shortage through bankrolling small-scale bakeries that can supply local communities.
Zanu PF has commenced low cost model bakeries which will be spread across the country. If the programme is well funded, Zimbabwe will find a remedy to the current bread shortage.