Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has welcomed the government’s decision to remove subsidies on maize and wheat stating that such a move shows the current’s administration’s sensitivity to the plight of Zimbabweans.
Government has been buying grain from farmers at market price and selling to millers at a subsidised price for consumers to afford the staple food.
But, Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, presenting the 2020 budget said the subsidies were a burden to fiscus and were also open to abuse.
The subsidies for the production of roller meal, cooking oil and bread, starting from January 2020, will now be targeting vulnerable communities to afford basic commodities.
The government decided to subsidise grain after low rainfall in the 2018/2019 rain season resulted in low harvests.
Subsidies were also done at a time when consumers were suffering from the ever-rising prices of basic commodities
GMAZ Media and Public Relations Manager Rarikai Chaunza in a statement said: “The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ), acknowledges and welcomes the recent decision and the pronouncement by the government of the removal of subsidies on maize and wheat grain and the subsequent removal of import duty on maize meal and four related products.”
“The move shows government’s sensitivity to the plight of its citizens and the administration’s efforts to ensuring the continued availability of basic foodstuffs at affordable prices.”
The association’s public relations manager also revealed that GMAZ will be holding an extraordinary meeting on Grain Strategy, Procurement, Importation and Price Stabilization, where it will examine the impact of these pronouncements.
“The milling sector remains committed to working with the authorities to ensuring food security,” Chaunza said.