Government says there is sufficient maize stocks in storage facilities being held by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) amounting to over 900,000 tonnes as of the beginning of January this year.
He said a maize stock verification exercise was undertaken two weeks ago to ascertain quantities of maize stocks held by FRA which showed that, at the beginning of January 2013, there was 916,934.44 tonnes of maize in storage facilities throughout the country.
“In order to mitigate the rising maize and mealie meal prices, on the domestic market, the agency was allowed to offload some maize to millers from its new maize stocks commencing December 2012.
“In an effort to contain maize and mealie meal prices, the agency was authorised to sell a total of just under 184,000 tonnes (183,405.28 tonnes) to millers and communities between January 1 and January 26 February 2013 which left a balance of 733,529 tonnes of good quantity maize grain purchased in 2012,” he said.
He said the balance of maize grain was more than sufficient to last up to the 2013/2014 farming harvest based on current average consumption of about 100,000 tonnes per month and to meet contractual obligations, both private and public.
Mr Sichinga told the House that there were sufficient maize reserves for FRA to export some of the excess which could deteriorate due to poor storage.
“This will not only contribute to required revenues for repayment of bank loans obtained by FRA under guarantee from the treasury but will also free the much needed storage space to accommodate the 2013 harvest stocks,” he said.
He said the 2012/13 farming season was likely to yield above two million tonnes and that if a total consumption requirement was about 2.5 million tonnes annually, the country would have a shortfall of 500,000 tonnes which would be met by current carry over storage reserves of about 500,000 tonnes.
He said FRA would not offload its maize stocks on the domestic market after the end of April each year since there was normally new output from farmers onto the open market.
“This measure is intended to ensure that maize prices at harvest time, are not dampened by the activities of the agency,” Mr Sichinga said. He said FRA would only be allowed to export about 200, 000 tonnes of excess maize stocks and maintain 500,000 tonnes for strategic reserves.
MMD Petauke Member of Parliament Dora Siliya wondered why some parts of the country were experiencing shortages of mealie meal such as Eastern province, to which Mr Sichinga said the shortage was as a result of insufficient milling firms in those areas.
Mr Sichinga told the House that the challenges on shortages of mealie meal were because of increased demand against inadequate milling firms in some areas.
He was expected to convene a meeting with some millers to find a lasting solution.
Meanwhile, mealie meal traders at Situlu area in newly created Sikongo district of Western province on the Zambia-Angola border have increased the price of the staple food by KR 20.
The increase is with effect from the third week of last February.
A 25 Kilogram bag of Breakfast that was costing KR 100 is now selling at KR 120 while a 25 Kilogram bag of Roller Meal that was costing KR 80 is costing KR 100.
A resident working in Situlu who declined to be named disclosed the development to ZANIS in Kalabo yesterday.
The Situlu resident said that the Mealie meal traders were taking advantage of hiking the price of the commodity in Situlu as the villagers have no maize to harvest since their crops were swept away by the early floods that hit the area this farming season.
The resident said that meanwhile some villagers who were not affording to buy the mealie meal were doing some piece works of weeding in cassava fields in Malundu area in the neighbouring Angola where their payment was either fresh or dried cassava.
He added that only a few villagers in Situlu who planted rice early were expected to harvest their crop this year.
Its all due to PF mismanagement of zambia.The bumper harvests,the record forex reserves and the democratic space we once had have all been eroded.
Pf nimbama.Way to go.Where is that pessimist mp from UPND ?
i have a problem with the response form Sichinga. He says that our national consumption is about 2.5 million metric tonnes per annum. That makes our monthly consumption about 200, 000 metric tonnes, and not 100, 000 as he is implying. simple mathematics! Therefore, the stock from end of february will last for three and a half months, up to mid-june 2013. This is when we expect to have this year’s harvest. The expected harvest of 2 million metric tonnes will only be enough for 10 months not 12, leaving a shorfall for 2 months. This is without our contractual obligations to Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Clearly, we are not likely to avert the pending shortage of maize/mealie meal.
@Rasha ,you are spot on….after all these PF lies who can trust this government? Can citizens have confidence in a government that contradicts itself on a monthly basis, was is not this same Honourable sichinga who lied with his SATA about the fake kwacha printed allegedly by BOZ /MMD? we are still waiting…..Where is the constitution legal framework 18months on……
Muteteka gave all the Hammer mills to his girlfriends and family members.If all those mills were put in strategic places we would not be in this situation.
PF = PabuFi…… Elo ubufi and laziness cannot be hidden coz they have an embarrassing way of getting back at and exposing you!
Ok am not being personal, jealous or bitter and chocking with envy as stu..pidy PF thugs would say. Honestly which international community would ask Sata or Mugabe to be a head of observer mission for any country holding elections? Both leaders make orgasmic ejaculative statements without thinking- in August am going to Nigeria to see TB Joshua and buy anointing water and spill it out at plot 1 gates as I drive off to woodlands . Watch the space we won’t even go up 2016 Zambia shall be saved.
Yes! it is true you are not bitter. Look at your rotten language. Am very sure you must have grown up in a “house” where this kind of language was the order of the day.
Yes you are bitter.When your view is not shared by the majority of the citizens then it is common wisdom to check yourself.Free advice for you young man Octopus.
@Octupus, I glad you start to withdrew from PF, but its unnecessary to insult those thugs, for them that is their daily language. Sata calls even his own cooks “..bafi colour”.
Please, leave the Man of God and his Jesus out from your daily insults and bitterness. Your thinking is totally up side down. You do not go for deliverance on behalf of someone else whom you not share demons with, but for yourself. If you feel that it is Sata with demons but not yourself, please stay home and do take space for other people who have genuine and pressing problems to be delivered.
Please, leave the Man of God and his Jesus out from your daily insults and bitterness. Your thinking is totally up side down. You do not go for deliverance on behalf of someone else whom you do not share same demons with, but for yourself. If you feel that it is Sata with demons but not yourself, please stay home and do not take space for other people who have genuine and pressing problems to be delivered.
A country strangling to feed itself!!!. It says volumes about the majority of its people. I was told that bembas are the smartest people in the world and now they are ruling Zambia, so why is the country still poor and now facing food problems? I think they are not smart after all. I wish a luvale could be president of Zambia, all these problems would be past. Ohh, the majority zambians cant vote for him coz he is not bemba…. poverty forever and forever in Zambia
Stop the tribal crap iwe kambonsenga.
Honourable what is the daily consumption?
With this information ,there will be no need to panic.After all there are other foods that people can eat.Dont just be a nshima …..nshima …nshma
Tell me, Paolo – what did you eat yesterday, the day before, and the day before that? And what would you really like to eat today, tomorrow, and the day after?
Oh I see…. nshima? It makes you feel full and everything else is a snack? Got it, no need to panic.
Paolo Di Canio lets start with all the bembas to stop eating nshima for some of your alternatives. since they are the majority then the problem will be solved….
we tired of this melie meal saga and this incompetent government. is anyone left with brains in this government? it seems everyone has brain erosion from the one heading the government to the last PS. God please redeem this country from these criminals. why cant we have the Venezuelan experience as well? please our lord hear our prayers.
MATHEMATICS ON THE STOMACH DOES WORK. WE WOULD RATHER SEE THE EFFECT OF THESE RESERVES YOU FOUND FROM THE FORMER GOVT NOT EXPOUNDING A THESIS THAT DOESN’T WORK.
Copy and paste PhD graduate,no wonder you are in Paya Farmer (PF) government.Shame upon you!
Relying on reserves is not enough for the Zambian People. If you had done the right things at the right time those reserves were going to be used for something else. There are a lot of farmers who entirely rely on you the government and its sad that you haven’t been there for them. How does the agriculture sector grow when it has to feed on its reserves right after saving it? and then you wonder why Zambians living abroad dont want to invest? it would have been acceptable if this was all because of some natural disaster – army worms for example but no it was simply because of your laziness and lack of focus.
Where is the agriculture minister?? let him shade more light on this than this commerce fimofimo. unless u swore in another one i can not know.
In fact, Sichinga is agriculture minister now. LT has the caption wrong.
Some millers are like MMD sympathisers. When the issue of the minimum wage came, they protested so much. They want to be paying their workers peanuts while they make super profits. This is just a cartel to embarass the current government. JUST WHAT IS THE EXPLANATION FOR THE FACT THAT THE COUNTRY HAS MORE THAN ENOUGH GRAIN (MAIZE), YET WE HAVE A “MEALI-MEAL SHORTAGE”? This is not rocket science. The same mercenaries posting stupid statements to want to make a duly democratically elected government fall are such enemies of the govt and the people of Zambia. Heartless capitalists. Your holes have been plugged ba mambala.
Some millers are MMD sympathisers. When the issue of the minimum wage came, they protested so much. They want to be paying their workers peanuts while they make super profits. This is just a cartel to embarass the current government. JUST WHAT IS THE EXPLANATION FOR THE FACT THAT THE COUNTRY HAS MORE THAN ENOUGH GRAIN (MAIZE), YET WE HAVE A “MEALI-MEAL SHORTAGE”? This is not rocket science. The same mercenaries posting stupid statements to want to make a duly democratically elected government fall are such enemies of the govt and the people of Zambia. Heartless capitalists. Your holes have been plugged ba mambala.
BETWEEN MAIZE AND MEALIE MEAL IN THE MIDDLE IS ANY GOVT .FAILING TO MANAGE MAIZE WHICH THEY FOUND.
Are you narmal? You sound like a mentaly retarded PF thug who believes in everything piece of sheet coming from the mouth of Wonama. Ati millers dont want to produce enough mealie meal because they want MMD to bounce back to power. Mad man, millers are business men/women who want to produce, sell and make money everyday.
Then why do we have no maize on the market causing high maize price?
we are a botswana base company and just could like to know or official position with FRA regarding our out standing balance
When the PF came to power, IMF and World Bank told us that govt was spending too much money on maize business and wanted it reduced! We did not agree with them politically. But they were right economically. Govt spends money (Kbns) to do rehabs on Nitrogen Chemical of Z., imports more through Nyiombo and the other company to subsidise production! A bag worth K250,000 “sold” at K50,000 to a farmer. Then the farmers can produce average 12 bags of maize from 1 bag of fert. They sell to govt (FRA) at K65,000. i.e., K65,000*12=K744,000 from one bag of fert “bought” at K50,000. The millers buy at K60,000 from FRA. Who is doing more here?
LYING. REALITY ON THE GROUND IS DIFFERENT. SATA IS JUST MAKING A PROVIDENCE FOR HIS BROTHER MUGABE TO RECEIVE A SUPPLY FROM ZAMBIA. DICTATORS ARE JUST LIKE THAT. THEY COVER EACH OTHER’S BACK. THEY ARE DANGEROUS.
Why then is there a shortage? Next season might be even worse.
The overall objective is for the nation to achieve HOUSEHOLD and NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY, create EMPLOYMENT through PRODUCTION and VALUE ADDITION, contribute to the GROWTH OF GDP and to earn FOREX through exports. We must treat farming as a business. Maize is a political crop because it is a staple! But if you want to make money, you can invest in cash crops like tobacco, soya, g/nuts and plantation crops like oranges, sugarcane, tea, coffee, banana etc, to fill money in your holed pockets. Our small scale farmers need to learn to manage their cooperatives well, do gross margins per agro-enterprise.
Its like a parent telling his children who have been going without food for days that “I have more than enough money in my bank account to buy food even for our neighbours.” Since we have enough let it show kaili.
I have trouble understanding some of these statements. Right now many parts o the country have little or no mealie meal in stock. Prices have actually shot through the roof in outlying areas. Further, there has been chaos with farmer inputs this year. It is highly unlikely there will be decent maize coming from anywhere. Coupled with this, there has been exportation going on. If it were true that there is more than sufficient maize stocks, why are ere shortages of mealie meal now? The Government needs sober analysis o what is going on and restrain themselves from making statements that will only make them look foolish at some point.
@Dash…3K2M, don’t promote laziness here. The government has been doing a commendable job. Can’t you see politics at play here? Most of these millers got established under the MMD regime and they remain opposition sympathisers because this government forced them to implement the minimum wage Statutory Instrument. This has eaten into their profit margins and their reation has been to lay off some workers. They see red in the PF government and their more subtle move is to create this artificial shortage by reducing distribution quantities to many parts of the country. They want to forment public anger and dissent against the PF! Politics my friend.
You bastarrrd,how much are you paid to be blind.i want to pay you to save you from kabimbili’s jaws so that you can start posting your own independent arguments.i know what poverty does.i was once a victim but i never sunk so low
You are right my bro.
Ba Bob be pragmatic dont just say there is enough maize stocks the idea is it must collected and stored in safe places. Dont let maize go to waste , the reason why people are saying there will be hunger is because the FSP was poorly handled in the last season up to now people have still not collected their top dressing. Last season maize has not been collected in some places its going to be wasted . Remember you are dealing with maize this is not beans.
Six million people facing hunger in Southern Africa
More than six million people across Angola, Lesotho, Malawi and Zimbabwe are at risk of severe food shortages because of repeated cycles of drought and flooding, the global humanitarian body IFRC said on Monday.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the crisis was passing largely unnoticed in the outside world and its appeals for financial supp ort had won limited support.
Yes some millers are MMD sympathizers and there is nothing wrong with that. This is a multi party democracy. GBM is PF minister and a miller. Why is he failing to reduce the price of mealie Meal?
@njenje and John Katobela, I am no fool bafigili. Put up intelligent arguments you grovelling a.s.s.h.o.l.e lickers. I am an independent thinker and I support on principle! Your MMD promoted a free market economy where prices are determined by supply and demand factors! Tell me imwe ba pushi if it is false to say that FRA has those stocks of maize in the country. Obviously, this situation plays double gain for your greedy and insatiable appetite for money and power! You gain from inflated prices and you get the people to dispise the current govt for the high prices. Nay, you are not fit for purpose you i.d.i.o.t.s
Fyabufi chikkala nokoh ichushi muli soswe.
What does Bob sexy Sichinga knows about farming and its inputs the guy was supposed to be fired not moved to that ministry people in zambia will starve that guy talks big for nothing.
galelio you just an ***** cadre shut up and eat dog crap and die
nonsense..what an excuse..we need fresh maize not that old recycled which should be given to guy scott’s pigs..
Sichinga talks too much and does little or nothing at all. His propaganda chocks. Unmatched with Kambwili or even PS Emmanuel Mwamba!
Catch more fish and sell it at exorbitant price too.
i forgot rice, mabisi, and beef.
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