Bread has served human beings since the world came to existence. From the biblical age till now, the commodity has remained a valuable commodity. In Africa, bread has a great significance. The product made from a dough of flour and water is a metaphor for the basic needs and the living standards in nearly all African countries.
The weightiness in value of bread prompted the South African government to provide a bread subsidy for their nationals. It is actually a staple food; which is consumed on a daily basis in most African households.
As for the Kenyan scenario, it is always among stuff one would take when paying a visit to friends. In spite of the many anti-bread campaigns that have been carried out over time, the product has stood the taste of time.
While this is the case, Zimbabweans have been forced to seek alternatives as the price of bread continues to skyrocket.
New prices were announced earlier by INNSCOR Africa Limited , for its subsidiary Bakers Inn, a local baker that is endorsed by most Zimbabweans. The prices reportedly took effect from wednesday, 7th March. The new price dictates that the price of bread will cost USD 2.45 (wholesale) and USD 2.70 (retail)
Earlier, the Minister of Industries Mangaliso Ndlovu said he is aware of the problem facing Zimbabweans. “We are currently engaging the baking sector, specifically looking at the issue of bread availability and the price of bread. We are worried that there is always demand for the importation of wheat. It is possible to have a bread that is 100 percent Zimbabwean. As a government, we are quite keen to see that bread is available at affordable prices to the generality of our people.”
The government had initially promised to salvage the situation by engaging with local bakers in order to produce cheaper loaves but reports indicate that so far nothing has been done. Last year, the country woke up to shocking news that bread prices had gone up by nearly 100 percent.
As key players in the industry, government and other stakeholders seek ways to solve the challenge, some citizens have sought alternative substitutes of bread. Most of whom have opted for traditional substitutes like pumpkins, sweet potatoes, butternuts.
One Gybson Nhema has opted to sell bread substitutes like potatoes, bananas, cassava among others and he reports that his business is booming. He reveals that the business is doing well because most Zimbabweans cannot afford to buy their basic meal; bread. Meanwhile, their once ‘favorite’ meal has become a preserve for the rich.
Citizens of the Emmerson Mnangagwa-led country are calling on the government to help provide a solution that will ensure they reach a decent price.
Featured Image Courtesy: Pat The Baker