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HARARE, ZIMBABWE — To avoid artificial shortages of bread and other flour related products in Zimbabwe, Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has started scouting and supplying flour to small scale bakers throughout the country.

According to GMAZ, there has been panic buying of flour related products by members of the public who are speculating of prices hikes.

The association’s chairman, Tafadzwa Musarara said national flour supplies remained stable.

“The national wheat and flour stocks remain stable with major bread and biscuit bakers adequately and constantly replenished,” Musarara said. “Consequently, the overall national bread supply has exceeded 93%. Remainder of small scale bakers supplying Circa 10% of national bread market have had supplies started to be made to them on July 16.”

Tentative supplies made as of July 14 are as follows: Blue Ribbon Foods Harare branch, 180 tonnes, Bulawayo 90 tonnes, Masvingo 60 tonnes, Chinhoyi 60 tonnes, Mutare 60 tonnes and Midlands 90 tonnes, National Foods Harare 3,634 tonnes and Nulenty 200 tonnes,

Musarara also said national wheat milling capacity was next month going to significantly increase by the opening of a new milling plant by Blue Ribbon Foods.

“The new Blue Ribbon Foods wheat plant with an additional 9,000 tonnes per month capacity is expected to commence production on or about Aug. 4,” Musarara said. “This will see a 12.3% increase in national installed wheat milling capacity.”

He said there is no need for “panic buying,” which GMAZ is seeing in some areas.

“The nation has adequate flour supplies that are starting next month,” he said, adding that “those engaging in such behavior are just … wasting their time and money.”