By Tendai Mugabe
Bread can be baked from locally produced wheat without blending it with imported ingredients as widely believed, it has emerged.
Players in the baking industry are always knocking on Government doors seeking foreign currency to import wheat.
They argue it is impossible to make bread from local wheat.
Brainman Investments founder Mr Douglas Kwande yesterday debunked the myth after bringing standard loaves of bread baked using 100 percent locally produced wheat to Cabinet for appreciation by President Mnangagwa and Cabinet Ministers.
Mr Kwande explained to the President and Cabinet how he is managing to produce quality bread using locally produced wheat.
He said currently he is producing 5 000 loaves daily supplying the Gweru market where his operations are based.
If replicated in other parts of the country, the Brainman project can alleviate bread shortages.
In a brief address to the media in the Cabinet Room at Munhumutapa yesterday, Industry and Commerce Minister Cde Mangaliso Ndlovu said it was Government’s priority to ensure bread is affordable for every Zimbabwean.
“As the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, we are currently engaging the baking sector specifically looking at the issue of bread availability and the price of bread,” he said.
“As a Government, we have been engaging the sector for quite some time. We are worried that there is always a demand for importation of wheat. Today I invited a colleague of mine to bring his bread to fellow Cabinet members here and indeed to His Excellency to show them that it is possible to have bread that is 100 percent Zimbabwean.
“As you can see today, all Cabinet members have a loaf of bread. We want to encourage our industry to also consider supporting local industries. We are engaging the sector but as Government we are quite keen to see that bread is available at affordable prices to the generality of our people.”
Mr Kwande told journalists that if capacitated they can provide bread countrywide using local wheat.
“I am the founder of DCK Supermarkets based in Gweru,” he said.
“We are currently providing bread to the community using our locally produced wheat. I happen to be a farmer. I buy wheat from other farmers around and we mill the wheat 100 percent, take it to the shop. On a 50kg bag of wheat, we put premix 2,5kg, we put yeast 1kg and we put in the prover then we put in our ovens for 40 minutes and the bread is done. Like the bread that you have seen is 100 percent local. We are saying our local wheat if grown well it can also make bread without anything that we add.
“We are currently supplying Gweru only. Our capacity is limited. We have two bakeries that are working 24 hours a day. We have the challenge of equipment so that we can spread to other towns and cities using our local Grade A wheat.
“The wheat is from GMB, the wheat that farmers have produced. Of course, we don’t have as a country enough supplies of wheat but with the wheat that is currently sitting at GMB there is some good wheat that is not being used currently.
“We are saying with good support we can use that wheat as Government also should mobilise resources to capacitate the farmer to grow enough wheat for the country so that probably there will be no need for importation.” The Chronicle