HARARE – Zimbabwe’s biggest bread maker, Bakers Inn is aggressively fighting to consolidate its market in the Southern region by commissioning a $2 million production line in Bulawayo scheduled for end of August.
The bread market competition in the Southern region reached boiling point this year when Marondera-based Proton Bakeries also announced their intention to hit the same market.
In an interview on the sidelines of the official handover of a refurbished Huyo Primary School, Bakers Inn chief executive Ngoni Mazango said the $2 million project will begin early August.
“As Bakers Inn we have been investing in the upgrade of our plants, in particular the Bulawayo project is going to cost $2 million and we are hopeful that we should kick start in the first week of August,” said Ngoni Mazango.
The company which sales 450 000 loaves a day says the project has been motivated by the need to capacitate their plants and ensure adequate supply of bread which is normally in short supply in times of holidays like Easter and Christmas.
“It is common knowledge that Zimbabwe sometimes experience bread shortages during public holidays. Therefore we want to capacitate our plants so that they adequately supply our products to the market,” he said.
Mr Mazango who is also National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe president pointed out cash shortages were the cause of low bread sales during the last three months.
He however applauded the use of mobile and plastic money as another avenue that has significantly eased cash challenges affecting consumers.
“In the last three months we had reduced bread sales because of cash shortages, but intensive use of the POS machines, mobile and plastic money as payment systems has enabled the public to transact and resultantly sales have become positive,” he said.
Meanwhile Mr Mazango commended Government’s framework aimed at improving local wheat production as it would serve available foreign currency reserves.
“We embrace the noble Government initiatives of wheat command agriculture being put in place, as bakers we want to get to a point where 75 percent of the required wheat is grown locally and import the little remaining,” he said.