Skip to comments.Zimbabwe's biggest milling company shuts down flour plants
Posted on 10/11/2005 10:33:06 AM PDT by Clive
HARARE -- Zimbabwe's biggest milling firm, National Foods, has shut down its flour mills because of a severe wheat shortage that bakers on Monday said could see bread supplies drying up in the next few days.
In a letter to the Ministry of Industry and International Trade a copy of which was seen by ZimOnline, National Foods financial director John Pilgrim said the firm that employs several hundred people had as of October 10, 2005 shut down its flour making plants in Harare and Bulawayo.
Pilgrim said the decision to shut down the plants was taken after the last 400 tonnes of wheat had been milled last Saturday while there were no indications of further supplies from the government's Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
"We have not received orders from GMB and therefore our Harare and Bulawayo mills will be closed from Monday 10 October 2005 until we receive further wheat allocations," read part of Pilgrim's letter that was sent to Industry Ministry on October 6.
Industry sources said National Foods, which controls a 70 percent share of the flour market, was the only milling company that until now was still supplying most bakers.
The second biggest miller Blue Ribbons Foods stopped milling two weeks ago after running out of wheat while Victoria Foods, which is the third biggest miller, was said to have a few more tonnes of wheat left in stock.
National Bakers Association executive member David Govere said the wheat shortage had grounded the flour making industry and warned Zimbabwe could run out of bread in the coming weeks.
Bread, which sells for about Z$28,000 or slightly above US$1 a standard loaf, was already in short supply in the country.
Govere said: "What I knew was that only National Foods was left with a substantial tonnage of wheat and they were also very few stocks at Victoria Foods. As for Blue Ribbons, they have not milled anything for the past two weeks."
Both GMB boss Samuel Muvuti and Industry Minister Obert Mpofu could not be reached for comment on the matter.
Zimbabwe consumes 30,000 tonnes of wheat every month. The country used to grow about 90 percent of its wheat requirement with the remainder that was imported being used mainly to mix with locally produced wheat to improve flour quality.
But Zimbabwe has been unable to produce enough wheat since President Robert Mugabe began seizing farms from whites giving them to landless black villagers who have failed to maintain production because they lack skills and inputs.
In addition to wheat, Zimbabwe is also facing acute shortages of the main staple maize. An estimated four million people out of the country's population of 12 million people could starve unless more than a million tonnes of food aid is urgently supplied. - ZimOnline
Wheat should have been harvested by now and land preparation for planting maize should by now be well advanced.
"Redistribution" of farms must not be working........again. We'll soon hear cries for help from the stingy US for not responding fast enough to this "natural" disaster.
This has to be the fault of the few remaining white farmers.
Mugabe's paradise rivals North Korea in food production.
Let them eat cake...
I have also read that they no longer have any oil or gasoline, that the entire country is shutting down and sliding back into a (stone age) workers paradise. .
I am sure their fellow marxists in South Africa will save them. /you really need a sarc tag?
Don't worry, soon Bono from U2 will be up our collective asses browbeating us with his particular band of white guilt to help feed these poor black helpless angels.
Yes I am certain this is somehow our fault, I will be curuous to see just how that is so, but no doubt it will be and no doubt we will be suckered into trying to fix the unfixable.
I worry that the same will happen to South Africa too. Seems they are no the same path, just no quite this far down the trail.
"In addition to wheat, Zimbabwe is also facing acute shortages of the main staple maize. An estimated four million people out of the country's population of 12 million people could starve unless more than a million tonnes of food aid is urgently supplied."
Hey, what's important in the People's Paradise is that the Marxist egalitarian plan to redistribute the land to the deserving be implemented; starvation is a mere detail.
Power to the people (of color).
In the hands of a Marxist, it is not a mere detail, it is a political weapon.
Sorry, but I ran out of sympathy for these misfits long ago. Perhaps if the people get hungry enough, they will overthrow the Mugabe regime.
Meanwhile, not one more cent from this Whitey. I'm all "sympathied" out!
Mugabe is blaming Aid organizations for his problems. They don't supply food fast enough, so his people are starving. Doubtless he'll blame Aid groups for having to shut the mills. He is a monster.