Tumbling fuel prices to spur growth in bakery value chain

By Stanley James, Business Editor

Zimbabwe’s bakery value chain is pinning hopes of growth on the falling fuel prices and the anticipated good winter wheat output.  

The bakery sector has remained resilient despite facing operational challenges due to internal and global shocks.

There are even better prospects on the back of government interventions which has seen the price of fuel going down while the winter wheat output has increased.    

National Bakers Association Vice President, Ms Sharon Maparura said, “The industry is committed to growth. I think you remember the geopolitical tensions that had negative implications on global supply chains thereby affecting us locally, but indeed, we have sailed through and for now we hope the latest gains will be sustained.” 

Most bakeries are now focusing on improving production with high expectations of sustaining current gains.

“It has not been well for some weeks in terms of bread output. However, it is our expectation that the interventions are not short term, but of a long-term nature,” noted Blue Ribbon Foods General Manager, Mr Joseph Kamau.

Capacity utilisation for flour production firms is also expected to increase buoyed by the anticipated increase in winter wheat output.             

Mr Givemore Mesoemvura, a bakery executive said, “Flour is a key component of our production process, so, indeed we appreciate interventions that have been put in place to increase output this will translate into increased output.”

Estimates reveal that Zimbabwe will this year narrow the gap between demand and supply of wheat, with more than 370 000 metric tonnes expected to be harvested, thereby boosting cereal food security.