The Zimbabwean government has raised the price of scarce maizemeal by almost 600 percent to stimulate production, but a consumer watchdog is warning that it will make the staple food unaffordable. Agricultural minister Rugare Gumbo announced this week that the retail price for maizemeal would go up by 570 percent to support a 680 percent increase awarded to maize farmers. “For the price of maizemeal to go up by such a high percentage is unheard of,” said Comfort Muchekeza, a spokesman for the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ). “It spells doom for consumers, who are already battling with inflation of 2,200 percent and a monthly consumer basket of about (USD 40).” (IRIN)

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