Zimbabwe raises wheat price by 26 percent amid shortages

Photo: SciDev

 

Zimbabwe’s government increased farmgate wheat prices to encourage more deliveries of the grain amid a shortage.

Producers will be paid $630 per ton for wheat produced in the June-Aug. growing season, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told reporters Tuesday in the capital, Harare. The price last season was $500 per ton.

“Cabinet further agreed on measures to boost local wheat production,” Mutsvangwa said. The proposals include enabling grain millers and bakers to venture into wheat production for their specific needs and the introduction of programs to enourage greater output, she said, without providing details.

Zimbabwe is also asking grain millers in the country – which include the National Foods unit of South Africa’s Tiger Brands – to venture into wheat farming as a way of limiting demand for forex which the country is battling to make available to pay for crucial imports.

Poor performance by the country’s export sector, suppressed foreign direct investment inflows and general investor apprehension have seen Zimbabwe struggle for foreign currency.

This has left companies in fuel, wheat and medical industries queueing up at the Reserve Bank for forex to pay for imports.

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