Zimbabwe negotiates wheat import deal with Canada

The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) is set to finalise a 200 000 metric tonne wheat import agreement with Canada in the next two weeks to beef up local stocks.

The GMAZ team was in Toronto last week and the association’s Chairperson, Mr Tafadzwa Musarara said there was goodwill from the Canadian counterparts and a delegation from that country will be in Zimbabwe to sort out transport logistics in two weeks time.

“We are most indebted to His Excellency [President Emmerson Mnangagwa] for his stance on Zimbabwe being open for business. They saw him in Davos so negotiations were easy for us even if it was our first business trip in more than 24 years to Canada. We need Canadian wheat, it is the best in the world,” he said.

The success of the five year import deal however hinges on the availability of foreign currency as grain millers are failing to remit US$55 million to suppliers, while some wheat purchased in 2016 is yet to be paid for.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has however prioritised the payments.

Zimbabwe produced 200 000 tonnes of wheat last season but imports are necessary for blending since the local component is low in protein.