The Sunday Mail
The introduction of community bakeries in the country’s 10 provinces will go a long way in reducing exorbitant prices being charged for the basic commodity, Vice President Kembo Mohadi has said.
Prices of bread have skyrocketed beyond the reach of ordinary Zimbabweans forcing Government to embark on the national community bakeries programme. The price of bread is now pegged between $14 and $18 for a standard loaf.
Launching the Community Resilience Bakeries Programme Thursday at Waterfalls Incubation Centre, Vice President Mohadi said the launch of the national programme will make bread available at affordable prices adding this will also create income for various community members.
“As we all know, bread which was once an integral part of our daily diet has become a preserve for a few people. Exorbitant prices being charged by the few established bakeries have denied ordinary Zimbabweans this basic commodity,” said Vice President Mohadi.
“It is against this background that the Government has embarked on a national programme of supporting the establishment of community-based bakeries, which offer affordable bread to our communities. Not only are these bakeries closer to our people, they are run by community members, who will also generate income from these projects.
“Our efforts and, indeed our current thrust, are to assist new and existing bakeries to increase their production capacities in a bid to make bread affordable and accessible to all our citizens.”
Government’s desire, he said, is to see people generating decent incomes at grassroots levels through operating micro enterprises such as the bakeries project.
Further, the programme will improve local value chain development as well as improving food and nutrition security.
A healthy and productive citizenry, the Vice President said, is a key success driver for a prosperous nation as well as attaining an upper-middle-income economy by 2030.
The Vice President said the country’s rich indigenous knowledge will be key in the implementation of the project. He challenged tertiary institutions to improve technology going into the future for these bakeries to be more viable.
“Our rich indigenous knowledge systems and locally available technology are making a huge positive impact on people’s lives, hence we should maximise their usage. It has also come to my knowledge that we can use alternative sources of energy to fuel the bakeries, such as biogas, LP gas and solar, just to mention a few.
“I, therefore, appreciate the participation today by our research teams and institutions of higher learning in the launch of this project. My challenge to these institutions is that they should work closely with our communities to better technologies at their disposal so as to make them eco-friendly,” he said.
Provincial Ministers of State have been assigned to co-ordinate the implementation of the bakeries programme.
The event was attended by Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, in her capacity as acting Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development.
Provincial Ministers of State, Politburo members as well as senior Government and Party officials also attended the launch.