Business

Mozambique reverses bread price rise in wake of riots

  • 7 September 2010
  • From the section Business
A demonstrator throws a tyre on a burning barricade during riots in Maputo
Image caption The rise in the price of bread sparked deadly protests in Mozambique

Mozambique says it will reverse the increase in the price of bread that sparked deadly riots last week.

The announcement of the change in policy came from the planning minister, Aiuba Cuereneia, who also said the country would restore some subsidies for electricity and water.

A jump in the price of bread and other goods sparked three days of protests.

The government said more than 400 people had been arrested in the wake of the riots, which left 13 people dead.

The minister's statement said the government would "maintain the previous price of bread through the introduction of a subsidy."

The Mozambique government had previously called the price rises "irreversible".

Keeping food prices low in the country is difficult because so much of its food has to be imported.

The southeastern African nation grows only 30% of the wheat it needs.

The price hikes were partly caused by a decline in the value of the Mozambican currency against the South African rand, analysts say, which means imports grow more expensive.

On top of that, wheat prices have risen in value anyway following a drought in Russia, one of the world's main exporters.

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