Government threaten to re-introduce price controls for mealie meal

Bag of Mealie meal
Bag of Mealie meal
Bag of Mealie meal
Bag of Mealie meal

GOVERNMENT has warned it will re-introduce price controls for mealie meal if millers and retailers continue exploiting Zambians. Minister of Youth and Sport Chishimba Kambwili said this in an interview in Luanshya yesterday. Mr. Kambwili has said the rising prices are of great concern.

“We have observed with concern the escalating prices of mealie-meal. We do not want millers and retailers to take advantage of our people,” Mr Kambwili said.

He said if the millers and retailers continue to exploit Zambians by selling the staple food at a high price, the Government will have no choice but to intervene.

“I do not think we have a shortage of maize to increase the prices of mealie meal,” Mr Kambwili said.

He has advised the millers and retailers to reduce the prices of mealie meal to affordable levels for most Zambians.

“As a Christmas message to our millers: watch out!” he said.

And a miller in Ndola has said that sourcing of the maize from an open market is the cause of the rising prices of mealie meal.

In Ndola, Mr Auswell Nyoni of Chimanga Changa Milling said yesterday that companies have been compelled to increase the mealie-meal prices because they are buying maize at K97 for a 50kg bag.

Government has pegged the floor price for maize at K65.

Mr Nyoni said in an interview that it was not the company’s desire to increase the mealie-meal price but the firm had no choice given the increased production costs.
He said Chimanga Changa may reduce the prices if the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) offers favourable prices for the maize.

“We may consider reducing the price of mealie meal depending on the price that FRA will be giving the maize to us,” Mr Nyoni said.

Antelope Milling managing director Eleftherios Kaldis said he was in a meeting and could not comment on the issue.

“We are in a meeting right now,” Mr Kaldis said.

The prices of mealie meal in Ndola for a 25kg bag range between K65 and K74.

A bag of Chimanga Changa Milling breakfast meal is pegged at K71 while the same brand from Olympic Milling is being sold for K74.

A Simba Milling breakfast bag is selling at K65. The price was the same for Mpongwe Milling breakfast mealie-meal.

A roller meal bag of Chimanga Changa and Olympic Milling is priced at K57.

In Lusaka, a survey revealed that a 25kg bag of breakfast meal which was previously selling at K54 now averages K70.

In Livingstone, the price of the commodity is now K70.

A National Milling Company (NMC) bag is selling at K73 at Spar Livingstone and at K64 at the NMC town outlet.

At Shoprite, only one brand of 25kg breakfast from Pembe Milling was available and selling at K67.


    • you are arguing about meallie meal prices while sata is sick in state house. kambwili speaking about meallie meal where is the minister of commerce or agriculture, since when did food issues fall under ministry of sport?

    • It is beyond understanding how PF has failed to comprehend with the fact that these are effects of poor agriculture policies, if in existence under this govt. You have failed to deliver farming inputs in time, you have failed to pay farmers in time; really Mr Minister Kambwili, what do you expect will be the effect of all these bad practices? Prices will have to increase, wait for 2014. Then you will understand how much you are failing. By the way price controls will simply mean we are full time back in KK’s time or UNIP days are back.

    • Kambwili of all people should shut his beak if he has very little knowledge of economics. For him to even suggest introduction of price control is an exhibition of lack of understanding and total madness. Has he forgotten the Kaunda days when price controls were in full force;the prices were controlled but that lead to black markets springing up every where because private companies abandoned production of essentials for fear of making huge losses. This caused critical shortages which meant people had to line up for long hours to buy essentials. With the removal of subsidies the situation will only get worse.
      What is at play here is market forces. The demand of mealie meal has by far outstripped supply due to PF’s poor agriculture policies ,hence the rise in prices.

    • I think PF, being a Kaponya party want to resort back to the days when Kaponyas ruled in the business of essentials in kk era.
      Most people misunderstand the real meaning of the word Kaponya and how it came about. The word Kaponya means a striver who bullies his way to get to the front of the queue to buy essential goods in bulk and then sell then at an inflated price not far from the shop creating what are known as black markets.
      I have no doubt in my mind that PF is fast bringing back black markets to create employment for their support base because their policies are shambolic in as far as creating long term well paid jobs is concerned. With these price increases of essentials, the living condition of the poor majority is being squeezed due to less money in their pockets.

    • AS good as we respect the views of each person commenting on this forum, it is significantly important to take stock of your mental capacity.
      You can not just wake up and say Kabwilili 202. The issue is why the prices of maize has gone up from 65 to 97 without negotiating with them. The Millers are not at fault, but the Govt.
      So new graduate from corner stone uni, graduating without chisote kumutu, Just plead with your sickling to take handover power to serious men and women or rightly said that he can dissolve PF and parliament.


    • Didn’t this same PF government remove subsidies on the basis that only the rich were benefiting? Since price controls have a similar effect as subsidies what laws of economics is PF applying? Did Kambwili really understand what he was saying

    • @

      Ati who 2021?
      Is Kambwili new Goverment spokesman, and why the threats. Chikopo if you there in the early 90s UNIP days, KK removed subsidies on mealie meal which lead to high prices,followed by food riots. The MMD under Chiluba (MHSRIP) in which our dear President MCS was a part took advantage to de-compaign UNIP. Now our Dear President MCS’s PF has seen sense in what KK did in the 90s, the other thing Goverment needs to do is to get back National Milling there is a reason UNIP made it ( I think it was created that Goverment should be a player in the milling sector and help regulate mealie meal prices). President Sata plse stick to Old man KK some of his goodness will rub onto you. MERRY XMAS Zambia

    • Bumper harvests and proper fertilizer and other inputs distribution can only be understood by farmers. Levy and RB were very good at that. What is very surprising is the fact that, Bob Sichinga started yapping way back in June that all farming inputs will be at the designated points by August, unfortunately even as at today not every farmer has received. What went wrong? Is it because he was waiting for his commissions to be paid first?.

  1. But why is it the MINISTER OF YOUTH AND SPORTS making this statement. Is this his jurisdication? How can we take these goons serious?

    • He was speaking in Luanshya as MP not as minister of whatever! People should be like me and start eating sweet potatoes (kandolo), pumpkin, millet, sorghum & Cassava for lunch instead of cooking a heap of mugaiwa twice a day, some even 3 times. Villagers and most farmers stopped buying mealie meal along time ago. They simply grow their maize, process and preserve it and take it to a hammer mill whenver they are in need of mealie meal. So, the removal of mealie meal subsidy has hit hard the poor urban house holds who do not grow maize but survive through hassling like selling vegetables at markets and other such activities. These deserve to be cushioned and PF need to wake up to this fact or they have political suicide at hand.

  2. We blogged that the removal of maize and fuel subsidize will increase the price meal mealie ,because when subside was in place govt pegged price was it’s logical to increase due to running costs.Zambia is slowly falling in non free market economy,this scares 2016 bfast bag will be k150 and some dull chaps will continue knelling down for votes.5 steps forward then 15 steps backs =-10.

    • True investors are not going to be scared by 2016. They are already challenging GRZ in Courts of Law in Zambia and at the International Arbitration institutions. Unfortunately journalism in Zambia is limited in reporting only on disputes between various political parties.

    • The vexing problem for me to comprehend arises from why year in year out local/small scale farmers wait upon Govt to supply them in puts. With all the money they get from FRA by now they should have been weaned from depending on Govt inputs. The delayed inputs from Govt are meant for poor and vulnerable farmers to be bailed out of poverty with intention to wean them gradually. All other farmers should plan to purchase their own inputs in time like way genuine commercial farmers do. Otherwise if one waits upon Govt for inputs and market such are not farmers but rather and more all less equal subsistence farmers in the villages.

  3. V ery soon we shall see not just increased prizes,but mealie meal shortages.What type of Economics does this PF Government practice?

  4. First of all the person commenting on this matter he is a totally wrong man remember he told us that government is introducing national serve training to all school levers. But we all know what has happened, he spoke of government introducing windfall tax etc. He just talks without consultation. That is why he name our Lusaka stadium as disaster stadium. I have nothing against the man but I think he is immature politically and that’s a big danger. Leadership is about dialogue consultation and then u make decisions. Hon Sichinga is the one who can comment on this issue government does not run like a katemba there is always protocol and procedure the sooner PF learns this the less problems they will be making the issue is to know the source of this problem not just yapping like crazy…

    • Kambwili is BUFFOON who shouldn’t be anywhere neat a government ministry. ..he belongs in the party’s secretariat hidden deep in the basement filing papers.

  5. Mr “With Immediate Effect” will never cease to amaze me.Why is he threatening millers when the problem is as a result of government’s incompetence.As someone has stated there is already a forecast of maize shortage.From bumper harvests to maize shortage.From surpluses in our reserves to a broke government.From a free citizenry to pipo running like rats from panga wielding thugs.The only purpose PF’s ascendancy to power serves are the lessons which we should all learn most important of which is “cherish your vote”.

  6. NO NO NO. Dont introduce price controls, instead lower taxes. Do not introduce toll gates on top of road user fee already paid in fuel price.

  7. Give the man a break. We have all seen the newspaper adverts, the man has just obtained a degree in something and he is now one of the few learned in cabinet. He is probably trying to practice a few theories from class.

  8. understanding the Zambia economic model will help to implement careful and good policies to address the escalating Weather thru price fixing quotas cost of production marketing or indeed transport initiatives paying attention to the cost push and demand pull as a result of the shift in budget lines of many of our people in recent days witnessed salary increments without an increase in yields and production capacity paying particular attention to alternatives avoiding the dead wet losses or surpluses to each or is it minimizing to each ??? in the free market economy FRA should also been seen to be a spine in ths issue affecting market prices for mealie meal according


    • You seem to be able to educate us on economic principles. Please keep it simple and to the point. Explain properly about the dead weight loss, otherwise you may lose us who do not understand this topic fully. However, the simple issue with dead weight loss is brought about by price controls, which is a sign of economic inefficiency. Therefore, are you for price controls or not? Stop confusing people in case this simple topic is beyond you.

    • This theoretical crap does fill the brain. We want to fill stomachs. If you can translate theoretical texts to plain English, fair enough. Otherwise, apply for job with BoZ.

  9. A little bit of micro and macro economic analysis on this issue will help gov make correct addressing decisions understanding also the concentration of milling firms and relationship reducing the hemorrhage across through strict policing though ineffective since a pararell black market establishes artificially pulling the prices.

    The quickest solution lies in understanding and flexing the muscle thru FRA and policing to insulate consumption locally given the increased production by the few concentrated family run milling companies from our good colleagues from Greece and portugal

  10. Vice President Scott justified the increase in mealie meal prices saying market forces are dictating the price of mealie meal but today his junior Mr Kambwili is saying something else and this makes citizens of this country wonder if theres team in this PF govt. Price controls my fooooooooooooot.

  11. Tomato, tomato balunda
    Onion nayo yadula!!!
    Wapya munzi! So these exorbitant prices of the essential commodity of my fellow Zambians are in effect…Awe bambuya ku mushi balafwa ne nsala.

  12. Price control is not the solution. Solution lies in manipulation of the market forces though invisible as they are. People themselves must learn to control these market forces themselves by being pro-active. We all know that every year starting December up to March mealie meal prices go up…a situation which demands our pro-activeness in avoiding the high prices. For instance, the people in Village Towns have to store maize so that during this period they just start gaisharing….why should a family in Luwingu wait for mealie meal from Lusaka when it grows maize? Please people of Zambia learn to plan and diversify the diet period.

    Peace and Prosperity to Mother Zambia.

    • Truth hate, just like zambia wait for copper cables, Nigeria diesel, and ghana cocoa from outside. You expect a villager to have resources to put up milling plants.

    • What spot on are you referring to? Storage I key in the villages you. jayjay be informed that the govt has a programme to erect hammermills in most districts to avoid exploitation by some private millers.and also it will be a source of empowerment to these local communities.

  13. this is a very disorganized govt…….the vp was busy preaching about the adjustment of the price and this foolish minister is now talking about price control my foot!!!!once act as mature people with families………..

  14. I am of the view that the markets and their efficiencies correct themselves with intervention of FRA in case there is a genuine shortage of maize given the statistics from the recent agriculture marketing season.

    I also concur with the TRUTH HATES and his points. What I have written is simply to show you and excite you a little to see the points in what the minister said Yes verbal persuasiation is correct but backed by careful micro and economic analysis in this mealie meal issue.

    I also don’t believe in petty attacks I put mind to what I do and not seeking anything employed but though can leave if wanted but feel I have a obligation to help matters

    From Itezhi Tezhi

    • Your analysis of economic issues is appreciated but you loose credibility if your comments are so densely written that it takes forever to understand. Try to keep it simple and straightforward for the masses. Remember there are hundreds of thousands of people seeking advice and reading comments everyday on the internet. If one writes something, it means one wants to be heard and if one wants to be heard, then one should also be understood.

  15. Kambwili fresh graduate from Cornerstone univerdity oh sorry it is Copperstone University in Kitwe. Bachelors in Developmental Studies. Was there no basic economics in his programme? Or may be it was just given without studying for it. I thought the Bachelors Degree should help in analysing issues.

  16. Chimanga Changa and Olympic Milling are two shining examples of responsible milling companies that are feeding copperbelt selflessly.
    Cheers Chimanga Changa and Olympia Milling

  17. Trying to sound intelligent but what u are saying is crap even a drunkard like me can analyse better than you empty tin.

  18. These comedians have no solutions to today’s problems; the only thing they can conjure up are outdated UNIPIST solutions.

  19. Doctor Kambwili it’s “Demand and Supply” at play boss! I thought you were taught at copper Stone University. Oh Sorry sir my wife has just wispered to me that you did Social Work.

    • Very funny On social work,,,well Demand and supply has its bad sides which no one in govt wants to see. Govt should always act to regulate maize prices thru storage at FRA and not leave private firms to play Govt’s role hence this problem.

  20. PF lessons learnt so next year lets not have these short comings in agric sector.Logistics are key to successful implementation of agric policies..

  21. I think gvt made a mistek to buy maize at K65 while private companies were buying at K75. The production of maize went down. Price controls will worsen the situation,other millers will abandon while black market will surface. The minister shd understand that is bcoz removed subsidies n low output of maize last farming season. FRA didn’t buy enaf maize bcoz of its uncompetitive price of K65. Meanwhile FRA official stayed in depots for 6months without buying anything and were been paid allowances for doing nothing.

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