The government of Zimbabwe recently made a decision to encourage millers and bakers to establish outgrower schemes in wheat production. The move, if effectively implemented, will boost food self-sufficiency and reduce the trade deficit.
Zimbabwe spends at least $250 million annually for wheat imports to complement local production which suffered a decline over the years.
Import substitution through increased local production is cited as a major intervention to reduce the high trade deficit affecting the economy, and in so doing cabinet resolved to avert reliance on imports by encouraging the private sector to support local wheat farmers through outgrowers’ schemes.
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Chairperson of the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe Mr Tafadzwa Musarara had this to say
This is game changing but obviously, let’s deal with infrastructure around dams and irrigation equipment on farms. The issue of bankability of 99-year leases is also crucial to unlocking funding to the private sector.
Beverages maker Delta Holdings’ public relations manager Patricia Murambinda said
We do have a fully fledged and staffed department that deals with the outgrowers scheme and that has helped not to go on the foreign currency queue seeking to import raw materials save for soft drink concentrates which cannot be locally manufactured.
Between 350 000 to 400 000 tonnes of wheat is required annually to meet the national requirements.
The government set a new producer price of $630 per tonne from $500 in order to promote local wheat production for the upcoming wheat crop season.
- Grain Millers Say That The Supply Of Wheat Remains Stable, No Need To Panic