By Brenna Matendere Munyati
Most people can no longer afford to buy the standard size loaf of bread and there is urgent need for government to revise legislation to allow smaller loaves.
The impoverished nation battling the economic crisis needs help in order to survive says National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe president, Givemore Mesoemvura. The price of the standard loaf of bread ranges between $0.80 and $1.
Mesoemvura told The Zimbabwean that the current law regulating the manufacture of bread was put in place in 1989 stipulating that a loaf of bread should weigh 700g.
“The economy was still in a sound state then and people could afford to buy that size. But now people both from urban areas and the countryside can no longer afford it. We now need a new law that can allow us to produce smaller sizes that people can afford,” he said.
He warned that the government risked plunging the nation into a serious social crisis if people could not afford basic food like bread.
“If the law is relaxed and bakers are allowed to produce smaller sizes that people can afford, it will avert social strife and on the other hand improve business of the companies that employ thousands of people,” he said.
At present bakers countrywide are producing about one million loaves of bread a day for the 12 million population but demand is understood to be far below that figure.
Several companies that specialise in the manufacturing of bread have shut down, resulting in loss of jobs.
Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Namibia allow various sizes of bread, unlike Zimbabwe where firms are slapped with huge fines if they produce smaller sizes. The Zimbabwean