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Monday, May 27, 2024

Rice consumption increases as an alternative key staple

Story by Owen Mandovha, Business Reporter

The country is witnessing an increased consumption of rice as a key staple food with industry players calling for interventions to ensure affordability of the commodity.

According to the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ), rice has become a preferable and alternative staple of late in a manifestation of shifts in the country’s dietary requirements.

Chairman of the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe, Dr Tafadzwa Musarara revealed at the ED Business Summit held on Friday last week that the country is consuming more than 10 000 tonnes of rice on a monthly basis.

“Of late, as millers we have witnessed that rice is becoming a key staple commodity as its consumption is increasing on a monthly basis and boarding schools, for example, are buying more than 2 500 tonnes of rice monthly. This shows that many households are not depending on maize alone,” Dr Musarara said.

As a result, Dr Musarara pleaded for tax exemptions to ensure affordability of rice.

“Industry is therefore calling upon the government to put measures to ensure affordability of rice by exempting it from tax as a basic commodity in a similar manner government has responded towards reducing taxes on other basic goods such as bread, meat, cooking oil and the like,” he said.

Grain millers have pledged their support to Government towards mobilisation of grain this year in the event that agricultural production is affected by the El Nino-induced drought.

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