HARARE, ZIMBABWE — The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) recently applied to the Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) to be allowed to set the prices of products under their purview rather than have it done by a government-appointed body, according to Newsday.

The GMAZ, whose membership includes producers of baker’s flour, corn meal, self-raising flour, rice and salt, currently buys corn and wheat through the Grain Marketing Board at a subsidized price.

The association, which also has established a finance and costing technical committee to oversee the pricing of members’ products, pleaded that if allowed, the move would be in the “best interest of consumers,” according to Newsday.

The GMAZ said the current situation did not protect consumers from unscrupulous market forces.

Zimbabwe has been experiencing bread shortages for months due to the short supply of wheat.

In September, six milling companies in Zimbabwe were forced to suspend operations for several weeks due to the government’s failure to pay for wheat that was held up in Mozambique.

Zimbabwe abandoned its own currency is 2009 to use a basket of currencies mostly led by the U.S. dollar. The country is currently plagued by fuel, foreign currency and medical supply shortages.