Bread Now Too Costly for Many Zimbabweans

10 March, 2019

Bread has now joined the list of goods in short supply in Zimbabwe. The lack of bread has caused its price to increase. Now, citizens are forced to look for replacements to this simple food source.

Bread now costs $2 or higher, about twice as costly as the usual price. Many people are getting used to having their tea -- a favorite morning drink of Zimbabweans -- without bread.

Gibson Nhema now sells goods such as sweet potatoes and corn in place of bread.

He told VOA, "If we can get bread once a week that will be it. But we no longer miss it because it is now expensive. If the government would push the price of bread and flour down that would go well with our way of living. We have no cash. If it remains expensive, I will not able to buy dinner if I buy bread."

Food sellers like Nhema are doing well. But these are very hard times for those who mostly sell bread, like Alwyn Mutero.

Mutero said, "There used to be lots of bread, but these days, people no longer buy like they used to do, because prices are going high. We used to sell this bread for about a $1, now it costs about $2.50. So people cannot afford it."

Mangaliso Ndlovu is Zimbabwe's Minister of Industry and Commerce. Recently, he said he found a company that could make bread using local ingredients to help ease the shortage and control the price.

But farmers say they do not have a way to produce wheat that is cost effective. They are calling on President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government to help.

Ben Gilpin is with the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union. He says that, among other things, farmers must have a fair price to cover their production costs. He adds that farmers must have the knowledge and tools to help the farming industry grow.

Government and industry officials continue their search for an answer to the shortage. Meanwhile, Zimbabweans like Gibson Nhema keep thinking of other foods to take the place of something as simple as their daily bread.

I'm Jonathan Evans.

Columbus Mavhunga reported this story for VOA News. Jonathan Evans adapted it for Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.


Words in This Story

afford – v. to be able to pay for something

expensive – adj. costing a lot of money

ingredients – n. the things that are used to make a food or product