THE Grain Millers’ Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has petitioned the government to ban the importation of bran, as this was killing the local milling industry.

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

In a statement yesterday, GMAZ general manager Lynette Veremu said the importation of bran was a waste of foreign currency.

“We note with concern that the Lands, Rural Resettlement and Agriculture ministry has been issuing out import permits for maize and wheat bran,” she said.

“Consequently, there is now a glut of these imports across the country, especially in areas such as Matabeleland North, South and Bulawayo regions.

“These imports have disrupted the milling ecosystem, as local millers are now unable to dispose their by-products, making it difficult to continue milling viably.

“Millers, nationwide, are sitting on local wheat and bran stocks of 11 650 metric tonnes, against a national requirement 3 700 metric
tonnes.”

Veremu said bran imports were straining the national nostro accounts, as maize from command agriculture was meant to substitute import of maize and bran.

Bran is the by-product realised after the milling of wheat, maize and other grains that were used for stock feed locally.

Local millers use it as another source of income apart from the grain itself.

Members of the GMAZ have reported to the body that their by-products were being crowded out of the market and that the government needed to intervene urgently and assist them.

GMAZ made their plea in a letter addressed to the Lands, Rural Resettlement and Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri, which was delivered to his government offices this week.

“We appeal to your office to immediately withdraw all import permits and possibly position officers at the borders,” Veremu said.

“Grain Millers’ Association of Zimbabwe offers to pay [the] allowances and travel costs of these officers.”

Last month, GMAZ offered to buy 10 000 tonnes of damaged wheat and 50 000 tonnes of soya beans, whose by-products would also be affected if the government continued to issue bran import permits.

Efforts to reach Shiri and his deputy, Davis Marapira, on the matter were fruitless.