Claims by a Gweru farmer that he could produce a standard loaf of bread using 100 percent local wheat have been discredited by industry experts.
The farmer, Douglas Kwande had told cabinet that he managed to produce 500 loaves a day with locally-produced wheat without having to blend it with imported wheat.
Kwande’s proposition gave the government false hope that they had found a panacea to forex challenges they were facing as far as importing wheat was concerned.
A number of leading retail supermarkets in Gweru told NewsDay that they relied on the traditional suppliers.
“The local wheat flour is good, but it does not reach the desired quality. For example, it is dense. In other words it is heavy. Its own quality, therefore, must be improved by wheat from outside the country mostly countries in Europe like Lithuania which have high quality wheat,” said Hardlife Mamuse, a Gweru-based baker who has been in the trade for over 19 years.
A brands manager for a retail chain, Abel Chikanya, reiterated that it was impossible to produce quality standard bread using local wheat alone.
“We are not saying local wheat is sub-standard. However, it needs to be blended. Actually, at our internal bakery, we used to blend local wheat flour and imported one on a 50:50 scale during our peak. The bread will be high quality only when blending is done,” he said.Newsday
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