THE retail price of mealie-meal has been increased by about K5 after millers hiked the cost of the staple food by K2 on account of the removal of fuel and maize subsidies.
Prices for a 25 kilogram bag have gone up by K2 and up to K6 for wholesale and retail respectively effective July 8, a survey has revealed.
Millers Association of Zambia president Allan Sakala said the increase has been necessitated by the removal of subsidies on fuel and maize.
But the Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) has urged milling companies not to use the removal of subsidies to exploit consumers.
Mr Sakala who could not disclose by how much millers have increased the mealie-meal, however, indicated that, “Some milling companies have increased the price due to individual costs that firms incur during production. Their [millers’] duty is to make available the product at an affordable price.”
A survey conducted by the Daily Mail in Lusaka yesterday revealed that most retail outlets are selling the commodity between K58 and K63 for breakfast and between K40 and K42 for roller meal.
Wholesale price for Pembe, Simba and Milile brands have been increased to K58 from K56 while National Milling’s Mother’s Pride is now fetching K54 from K52.
For roller meal, Mother’s Pride is at K40 from K38 while Milile is now K42 from K40.
Some retail shops in Kamwala and Kabwata are selling a 25kg bag of Pembe and Simba breakfast mealie-meal at K62 and K63, while at Levy Business Park’s Pick N Pay, Simba K60.
Meanwhile, ZACA executive director Muyunda Ililonga urged milling firms to exercise morals as they run their businesses and refrain from the culture of reaping from consumers’ little resources.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Mr Ililonga said, “Business houses should learn how to run their business in the long term and not just looking at gaining profits and forgetting that every business needs to stabilise and create customer loyalty.
ZACA is appealing to business houses not to take advantage of the removal of subsidies on fuel and maize to exploit consumers by increasing mealie meal prices.”