Value chain analysis of bread and how it creates competitive advantage in the Zimbabwean confectionary sector
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This study analysed the value chain of bread and how it creates competitive advantage to the firms or actors in the value chain, with specific objectives of identifying the challenges being faced by value chain actors, as well as finding out the key factors influencing the value of bread. The research design used was descriptive design. A sample was selected from the value chain actors which include the farmers, storage and trading facilities, millers, bread producers and retailers. Value chain mapping for bread was done and a sample was selected from the value chain map. The analysis revealed findings that the value of bread largely depends on the production of wheat. The major challenge being faced being faced by farmers of wheat is that of high input cost in relation to profit margins or the price being offered by wheat traders, and has led to the recent decline in wheat production. The availability of cheap imports of wheat as well as restrictions by the government to buying locally has affected the value of bread. Cost analysis was done, and indicated that elimination of non valueadded activities for cost reduction and enhanced differentiation as has been reported by many scholars and researchers is a viable strategy for increased market share and competitiveness. The study recommends that the government must create a favourable environment for direct foreign investment, in order to improve access to finance and infrastructure development to the farmers. The link between farmers and markets needs to be strengthened through the establishment of a futures exchange that will provide farmers with a ready market for their wheat.
- Department of Economics