Price of food to go up as govt orders producers to enrich food with nutrients
The prices of bread, maize-meal, cooking oil and sugar are set to increase after the government ordered millers and other producers to add nutrients while producing these foods. The government is trying to counter the long-term effects of poor nutrition among the people.
The formal name is the Mandatory Food Fortification Programme and it seeks to eliminate the deficiency diseases which are more prevalent among the poor.
Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa said:
Invisible price of 0,2 percent to 1,3 percent of wholesale costs are realised. The average annual cost per person of average consumption is approximately US$0,29 for maize-meal and US$0,15 for wheat flour, resulting in minute traction of inflation rates of foods on the market. These inflation rates are further reduced when duty fees are exempted from food fortifications and equipment imports,
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However, Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) chairperson, Tafadzwa Musarara disputed this saying:
We are disputing the ministry figures. They do not own the products and how did they come up with those margins? There is also the cost of buying the machinery that will need to be recovered; and the money for buying the foreign currency.
We have already written to bakers, informing them of the increase in the price of flour, and that means that the price of bread will increase. In other countries where they are implementing or have implemented food fortification, it is the development partners that cover those, and it is not industry, for example in Zambia.
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