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Zimbabwe's Winter Wheat Crop Disappoints Amid Shortages Of Bread

With bread in critically short supply throughout Zimbabwe, the state Grain Marketing Board has received just 70,000 tonnes from farmers, less than half the 150,000 tonnes it projected, reflecting a disappointing harvest in recent months.

Deputy Agriculture Minister David Chapfika said this week that poor rains, a shortage of harvesting machinery and other problems slowed the harvest in some provinces.

Zimbabwe needs some 300,000 tonnes of wheat to meet its annual requirement.

Bread has been in short supply for months and many bakeries have closed. Sources in Bulawayo, the country's second-largest city, said loaves are selling for Z$1 million (less than US$1) there although the official price for bread is Z$100,000.

Agriculture spokesman Renson Gasela of the opposition faction headed by Arthur Mutambara told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that poor allocation of wheat to millers is a main cause of bread shortages in the country.

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