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Zimbabwe Bread Manufacturers Ask For Weekly Price Adjustments

Zimbabwe's National Bakers Association has asked for a 75% increase in the official price of bread to Z$385, or about US$1.50, from Z$220 at present. It also urged that authorities review bread prices weekly so bakers can keep pace with rising costs.

The bakers association may have trouble getting approval for a bread price rise - the increasingly powerful central bank chief, Gideon Gono, told parliament this week that he wants the government to freeze prices for six months to brake inflation.

In a related development, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe said Wednesday that the cost of living for a family of six rose nearly 28% in August from its July level.

The U.S.-based Famine Early Warning System, or FEWSNET, has projected that the country will produce some 135,000 metric tonnes of wheat this year, 13% higher than the 2005 production level of around 120,000 metric tonnes. But this year's crop will nonetheless fall far short of the national requirement of 400,000 tonnes.

For an industry perspective on the proposed bread price increase, reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with executive Luckymore Zinyama of Harambe Holdings, owner of Mitchell's, a large Zimbabwean baking company.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...