A Gweru farmer’s claims that he produces wheat to manufacture bread without using imported ingredients have found little takers among industry experts.
The Gweru farmer, Douglas Kwande, assured a Cabinet meeting last week that he could produce a standard loaf of bread using locally-produced wheat alone.
However, a Gweru-based baker who has been in the industry for over 19 years, Hardlife Mamuse is not convinced. Said Mamuse:
The local wheat flour is good, but it does not reach the desired quality. For example, it is dense. In other words, it is heavy. Its own quality, therefore, must be improved by wheat from outside the country mostly countries in Europe like Lithuania which have high-quality wheat.
I do not know if it is because of climatic conditions or what, but what I can confirm is that as a country we mainly produce brown wheat for brown bread. There is very low production of white wheat and actually, I am not aware of farmers who produce white wheat. It’s imported, so if we say the country can rely on local wheat only, there will be serious shortages of white bread.