Local grain millers are crying foul over the increase in cheaper brands of smuggled mealie-meal which they say continued to threaten the viability of the local milling industry.
Mealie-meal brands mostly from neighbouring Botswana and South Africa have flooded the local market, in spite of the existence of a Statutory Instrument that bars grain imports.
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Several millers from the Southern Region who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com this past week said unless the government intervened, a lot of milling companies could be forced to shut down as some have already laid-off employees.
Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) Southern Region chairperson, David Moyo also confirmed to the publication that cheap mealie meal imports are suffocating the local milling industry. He said:
Here in Southern Region, we are facing difficulties in selling our mealie-meal due to the availability of imports from neighbouring countries.
We were hoping that since we had a bumper harvest this year, millers were going to manage to supply our market, but the retailers are resisting saying our mealie meal is too expensive compared to the one they are getting from the neighbouring countries.
Moyo urged the government to enforce Statutory Instrument 127 of 2020 to the latter as mealie-meal continues to flow from neighbouring countries in spite of the ban.