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Africa Subsaharan
Zimbabwe running out of wheat
2006-03-05
Zimbabwe has only two weeks of wheat supply left, while citizens are faced with soaring bread prices, Zimbabwe's main milling organisation has said. The cost of bread has risen by 30%, pushing Zimbabwe's inflation rate to more than 600%.

The government is reported to have put its security forces on alert in case the discontent leads to protests. David Govere, deputy chairman of the Millers Association, told AFP news agency the scarcity of wheat has meant a reduction in supplies to bakeries. "Due to depleted stocks, GMB [state-run food distributor Grain Marketing Board] is now giving us 400 tons of wheat a week, down from 600 tons," he is quoted as saying.

Shortages of wheat could force bakers to import flour from South Africa, which could lead to more price rises. A loaf of bread in Zimbabwe currently costs $66,000 Zimbabwean (66 US cents), having risen 30% in just one week.
That's 100,000 Bob-Bucks for a US dollar. Yesterday.
Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the situation is becoming unbearable. "It's terrible right now because of shortages," Arthur Mutambara, leader of one of two factions of the MDC. "Fuel is not available, commodities are unaffordable, unemployment 80%, inflation above 600%.
It's been that way for a couple years. How much longer are you going to bear the unbearable?
"It's a travesty of justice that the country has been so run down by Robert Mugabe's regime."

Zimbabwe's leading millers - National Foods, Blue Ribbon and Victoria Foods - have shut production at most of their mills because of the wheat shortage, according to AFP.

International aid agencies say about 4.3m out of Zimbabwe's 13m people will require food aid until the next harvest in May. Economists say the rate of inflation could reach 1,000% by April.
Betcha Bob is still well fed.
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