Innscor Chairman, Addington Chinake has today commented on the closure of one of the largest millers in Zimbabwe and the Southern African region National Foods Limited due to foreign currency challenges in the Zimbabwean economy.
The chairman on a side interview with bhizimusi.com said the National Foods is engaging authorities on the foreign currency challenge issue.
“National Food is a company that we have 37% shareholding so we are aware of the difficulties there and we are engaging the authorities at all levels to try and find a solution to the currency crunch,” Addington Chinake said.
National Foods says it closed down due to delays in repatriating payments to foreign wheat suppliers as the company’s wheat stocks go down.
The Innscor chairman also said that National Foods needs foreign currency to import the required type of wheat which is not produced in Zimbabwe.
“There are two types of wheat and that’s where the requirement for foreign currency comes through,” Chinake said.
“I think there is two types of wheat, there is obviously the locally produced wheat, which is of certain quality and then there is more refined wheat which is imported of a different quality, and what you need to do in wheat production, you need to blend those two wheats.”
Besides not producing the required wheat, Zimbabwe is also not producing enough wheat to for the demand in the country and the 2018 wheat will expected to last for three months to March 2019.
Chinake said, “… the shortage of foreign currency is a national phenomenon and obviously the Reserve Bank and the Ministry of Finance are doing their best to allocate the scarce resource in a manner that keeps the industry going and we are engaging with them positively and we hope for a positive outcome.”
“I think the government intends to shortly announce prices for the locally produced wheat which we then can put that wheat into the market which would help in reducing the demand.”