The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Panonetsa Mangudya said he is impressed by how the auction market had stabilised the exchange rate and, consequently, prices since the launch of the auction on June 23.
Mangudya, however, bemoaned the lack of productivity which results in the loss of the much-needed foreign currency by importing basic commodities such as maize and wheat which can be produced locally. He said:
We are pleased with the performance of the auction. The Reserve Bank has been very clear though: we have bemoaned the lack of productivity in this country; we have no productivity; that is the problem, it is not foreign currency.
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We do not produce to self-sustain ourselves. How do we import maize and wheat in this day and age?
Mangudya revealed that the country needs 30 000 tonnes of wheat every month at a cost of about US$12 million, and about 100 000 tonnes of maize per month at a cost of about US$28 million.
He said as a result of the “unnecessary” imports, more than half the country’s forex requirements per month is allocated to grains, and the money could be put money on the auction.