The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) said that there is a shift in the country’s staple diet as the younger generation prefers rice and bread to sadza.
Speaking during a recent briefing with Bulawayo journalists, GMAZ National Chairman Tafadzwa Musarara said the milling industry should start to move towards the provision of more wheat products and rice.
Musarara observed that demand for wheat and rice was driven up by such consumption habits. He said:
If we are talking about vision 2030, young ones will now become the working class and would be eating rice and wheat – food that forms their diet.
What one eats from ages six months to 22 years informs your diet, for the rest of your life. In our case (in Zimbabwe) that’s what we have – young ones prefer rice and bread, so as a business we need to move towards that.
Musarara revealed that in 2005, Zimbabwe was only consuming 12 000 tonnes of rice per year but the figure has risen to 11 000 tonnes of rice per month.
He said the country requires between 2.2 million to 2.3 million loaves per day.
The demand for more bread and more confectionery biscuits and macaroni from flour means that Zimbabwe’s 15 million people require 450 000 tonnes of wheat annually, Musarara said.
Unfortunately, Zimbabwe is a net importer of both wheat and rice.