Locally produced goods bring down cost of breast basket

zim_shopsHARARE - Locally produced goods are now appearing on the shelves an indicator that the local industry is picking up hence there is a decrease of US10 cents in the bread basket. (Pictured: Zimbabwe shops well stocked with local goods)

Goods available included sugar, tea leaves, mealie meal, cereals, toilet paper, salt, bathing soap, petroleum jellies, flour, rice, cooking oil, biscuits, eggs, kapenta and many other goods, said Rosemary Siyachitema the executive director of the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe.

The country largely depended on imports from the Southern African Development Community due to operational challenges facing industry. In June the cost of living for a family of six marginally decreased by US 10 cents to US$481. 01. In May, the basket was at US$481.11. However, economic commentators said the decrease would have a negligible impact on the lives of the ordinary citizen and industry as a whole.

There is a decrease in the cost of the food basket in May 2010 (foodstuffs only), from US$127,18 in May 2010, to US$126,43 in June 2010, reflecting a 0.01 percent decrease and for foodstuffs and detergents from US$137,11 in May 2010, to US$137,01 in June 2010, reflecting a decrease of US 10 cents, she said.

The food section comprised margarine, roller meal, white sugar, tea leaves, milk (fresh), cooking oil, bread, flour, rice, salt, onions, tomatoes, cabbages and meat (economy) with a subtotal of US$126.43.

The soaps and detergents section comprised bath soaps, washing bars, washing powder with a subtotal US$10.58. CCZ attributes the decrease in the May basket to promotions being run by different supermarkets such as Afrofoods dreams come true promotion, TM Supermarkets official sponsor of low-low price, Sparreal deals and Spar Arundel which has introduced clubs whereby members receive a certain discount when purchasing goods, she said.Siyachitema, however, said the basket for transport, rent, water, electricity, health, education, clothing and footwear remained unchanged at US$344.

Sanity needs to prevail where the cost of service has to be in keeping with the salaries and wages prevailing in the environment.

The situation has continued to reduce the disposable income of low-income urban earners as most of their money is being directed to these bills, said Siyachitema. They said the local industry was struggling to remain afloat pointing out that the decrease in prices shows that imports are still finding their way into the country cheaper than local goods.

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