?!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> Zimbabwe: Yeast Industry Under Threat-TOP YEAST
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    Zimbabwe: Yeast Industry Under Threat

    2014/5/21      ClickQ?script language="javascript" src="/inc/article_view.asp?id=1009">

    Zimbabwe: Yeast Industry Under Threat

    THE local yeast industry is losing more than US$3million annually through smuggling of the product fromSouth AfricaandZambiaby some unscrupulous businesses in the country, an industry player said yesterday.

    The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority recently intensified measures to curb the rampant smuggling of yeast, which is threatening domestic companies and efforts at reviving the industry after a decade of economic instability.

    In an interview with Herald Business, Anchor Yeast Holdings chief operating officer Mr Muvirimi Kupara said the local yeast industry was under threat from imports and the smuggling of huge volumes of yeast into the country.

    "About 2 000 tonnes of active and inactive yeast were smuggled into the country last year because of the porousness of the border posts, something that Minister Mike Bimha has been talking about since his coming into office.

    "The industry is losing more than US$3million and this is an amount that could have revived the industry a long time ago," he said.

    He said the low value of the Zambian Kwacha against theUnited States, madeZimbabwean attractive market, consequently turning the country into a dumping ground for cheaper and sub-standard products.

    Mr Kupara said the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Mechanisation Development has since stopped issuing import licences to companies dealing with yeast, cooking oil and grain milling.

    However, some bakeries are still using the products imported fromZambiaandSouth Africa.

    "The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Mechanisation Development stopped giving importing licenses last year, but if you go into the bakeries they are still using Clover yeast fromZambiawhich is a clear sign that there is a smuggling syndicate that continues to supply those products locally," he said.

    "We have locally available raw materials and goods for the manufacture of yeast and yet smuggling continues to be the main challenge affecting the viability of the local industry," Mr Kupara said.

    A foreign owned company based in Chitungwiza is suspected to be the main supplier of the smuggled yeast and is estimated to be supplying more than 120 tonnes of yeast per month to local bakeries.

    "For your own information Bakers Inn's importing licence was suspended by the Ministry of Agriculture and Mechanisation Development and yet the influx of imported yeast continues to grow. On record I can confidently confirm that Indians are the main culprits in the smuggling of yeast products into the country," he said.

    He added that the culprit foreign owned firms continues to have access to yeast because they monopolised the yeast manufacturing industry in neighbouringZambia. However, despite the industry being affected by the smuggled goods, Mr Kupara said Anchor Yeast would make all the necessary investments to ensure the company remains viable and able to compete with imports fromSouth Africa.

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