Zimbabwe has found an ingenious way to end a bread shortage, bakers have been ordered to stop producing cakes and biscuits.
Zimbabwe faces an acute shortage of United States dollars which has hindered wheat imports and led to bread shortages.
Last week, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe paid US$7 million to secure the release of 19,000 tonnes of wheat from the port of Beira in Mozambique which is expected to temporarily ease the bread shortages.
But bakers are being warned to use all the wheat flour they are getting on bread alone.
“We are calling upon colleagues in the baking industry to shun baking of confectionery and biscuits so that they deploy the entire wheat flour supply to bread baking,” the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe said in a statement.
Bakers are currently receiving 500 tonnes of wheat flour per day following the US$7 million payment – enough to make one million loaves against a national demand of 1,4 million, according to the millers.
Bread is retailing for an average ZW$4.50. The government, through the central bank, pays for imports using scarce foreign currency which has given it clout when determining bread prices which bakers maintain are too low.