HARARE – The government has reviewed upwards the subsidized price for a roller meal bag by 40% against the prevailing market price of the product with immediate effect.
Previously, the roller meal subsidy was pegged at ZWL$50 per 10kg bag in order to protect the vulnerable groups of the society from the economic shocks.
“However, the wide gap between the market and the subsidized price has created undesirable arbitrage opportunities for unscrupulous players, resulting in the market and supply distortions,” the treasury said in a statement on Tuesday.
Annually, Zimbabwe requires at least 1.8 million tonnes of grain for both human and livestock consumption.
Despite the creation of a taskforce to ensure transparent and equitable distribution of roller meal, shortages continue to be experienced at a time when even refined maize-meal is no longer readily available.
“In view of the above, I am pleased to announce that Government has reviewed upwards the subsidized price from ZWL$50 to ZWL$70 per 10kg bag of roller meal against the prevailing market price of the product.”
Also the government will, in due course, announce a strengthened targeting system for vulnerable citizens.
Recently the treasury chief Mthuli Ncube said that;, “Grain is being delivered, we basically need delivery of about 5 000 metric tonnes a day. We consume about 3 600 metric tonnes a day, the difference goes to strategic reserves, it’s a build-up. So we are well aware of the target and we are building towards that target.” This was after he was quizzed on the grain situation in the country.
In December 2019, the government scrapped maize subsidies, but reintroduced them after a public outcry over high prices. On the black market, a bag of roller meal costs US$5 which is about $90 in local currency.