NATIONAL Milling Corporation (NMC) has reduced the price of breakfast mealie meal by K2, 000 per 25 kilogramme bag with effect from yesterday.
Managing director Peter Cottan confirmed this in an interview in Lusaka yesterday.
“National Milling Corporation today has effected the reduction in the price of breakfast mealie meal by K2, 000 in all Shoprite, Spar and Pick n Pay supermarkets,” he said.
Mr Cottan said the price reduction has also been effected in all the 60 NMC depots around the country.
He said NMC has also effected the prorater price reduction on 5 kilogramme and 10 kilogramme bags of breakfast mealie meal.
Mr Cottan said the reduction in mealie meal prices has been necessitated by the bumper harvest recorded this year and the subsequent lower cost of maize flowing into individual milling companies.
He said this follows numerous reductions prices of roller meal which has fallen from about K46,000 to K23,000 per 25 kilogramme bag over the past three to four months.
“Therefore, we have been able to pass the lower prices of maize on to the consumers,” he said.
And in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Cottan said the Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) members have indicated that they are experiencing an excellent flow of maize into various mills across the country as a result of the bumper harvest.
Mr Cottan, who is MAZ chairman, said the steady flow of lowly priced maize into the mills has forced down the price of the commodity well below the Food Reserve Agency recommended price of K65,000 per 50 kilogramme bag of maize due to market forces.
He said since the cost of production for both breakfast and roller mealie meal has gone down by about 85 percent, millers have been compelled to pass on the benefits to consumers through regular reductions in prices of the commodity with further cuts commencing this week.
“The only negative factors limiting the price reductions are the recent hikes in electricity tariffs and potential depreciation of the Kwacha as most of our members fund the purchase of their maize in US dollar loans,” he said.
Mr Cottan assured the nation that MAZ will continue putting consumer interest first and will work with the government of the day and other maize sector stakeholders in the best interest of the nation.
Recently, President Banda directed his special assistant for policy, implementation and monitoring Ben Kapita to visit all major milling companies to ascertain whether they were being responsible in their pricing of mealie meal following the bumper harvest the country has recorded.
The President wanted to establish whether millers were passing on the benefits of reduced maize prices to consumers.
[Zambia Daily Mail]