Millers in Zimbabwe have raised the prices of maize and flour as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has driven up global grain and fertilizer costs. The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) said in a statement that the price of maize meal, a staple for most Zimbabweans will increase by 15% to 1,099 ZIM dollars while wheat flour goes up by the same percentage to 136,544 ZIM dollars per metric tonne.
The association which was previously expected to import 155,000 tonnes this year, typically sources most of its wheat product from Russia where supplies have been disrupted by the war. Russia is also a major fertilizer to Zimbabwe- which suggest that there could be further shortages and hikes when the planting season starts in that country later in the year.
Even before the commencement of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions facing the country, Zimbabwe had been dealing with the aftereffects of the COVID19 pandemic, rising inflation and public debt. Petrol and diesel prices are up 18% and 22% since the beginning of the year while month on month inflation rose by 7%, up from 5.3% in January. This is apart from sanctions imposed on the country by Western countries that have restricted it on the money market. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta described these sanctions as illegal during the visit Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa made to Nairobi.
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