Superior Milling Company Limited Managing Managing Director Peter Cottan addressing delegates during the launch of a depot in Kazungula
Superior Milling Company Limited Managing Managing Director Peter
Cottan addressing delegates during the launch of a depot in
Kazungula

THE plan by the Government to set up maize milling plants in all 10 provinces of Zambia is a step in the right direction as it provides an opportunity for millers to go into Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) with the State, former Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) chairperson Peter Cottan has said.

Mr Cottan, who is Superior Milling Company Limited managing director and an active member of MAZ, said the process of setting up maize milling plants was a tedious undertaking and hence there was need for millers to take advantage of Government pronouncements to venture into PPPs.

He said it was unsustainable and a challenging task for the Government to start running milling companies as it role was to provide a favorable environment for the private sector to do their business.

Mr Cottan was speaking yesterday in Kazungula when his company opened his 41st depot in the border town.

During the same launch, Superior Milling Company Limited empowered 10 local women in Kazungula with 10 kg bag of floor each to start running their businesses from the same product.

“A lot of people thought millers will be against the move by the Government but some members of MAZ members are already taking up that opportunity.

“The private sector companies are now setting up milling plants in Chipata, Chingola, Solwezi and other major towns with a hope of going into PPP with the Government,” he said.

Mr Cottan said setting up milling plants by the Government would only be sustainable if it was done through the PPP.

“There is no way Government can start doing the business of running milling companies as this role is for the private sector.

“There will be need for partnership with the private sector in this new arrangement. In my view, the role of Government would be to ensure that millers are supplied with subsidized maize from farmers,” Mr Cottan said.

He also said his company would work with retailers to ensure that the
reduction in mealie meal prices benefited customers.

“When we reduce mealie meal prices, all other retailers have to follow suit. If they don’t reduce, competition will come into play as consumers will have to choose and buy from where they want,” he said.

Mr Cottan also asked the Government to speed up the process of releasing subsdised maize to millers from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to stimulate further reductions in mealie meal prices.

On Wednesday, Superior Milling Company Limited reduced the price of both breakfast and roller meal by K5 and K7 respectively for Kazungula in response to Government’s recent pronouncement to offload subsidised maize to millers.

The reduction only applies to Kazungula only and does not apply to other parts of the country as the company is waiting to access subsdised maize from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) for it to make further reductions in the prices of the commodity across the country.

Mr Cottan said his company was the first miller in the country to reduce mealie meal prices in rural areas by selling a 25 kilogram (kg) bag of breakfast mealie meal at K63 per bag from K68 and a 25 kg bag of roller meal at K44 from K51 in response to Government’s pronouncements.

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41 COMMENTS

    • Senseless. Is there anything to be happy about?

      Is putting alot of milling companies in all provinces equivalent to putting food on the table of many Zambians?

      Edgar is the most useless president that Zambia has ever had.

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    • No PPP Mr Cottan,we want govnt to run these milling companies cause calls to reduce mealie meal prices have fallen on deaf ears……viva EL 2016.

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    • Empower locals to set up and run These companies. Everything now we have to run to the Chinese. Is this how backward we are as Zambia? Next they will be cooking nshima in our homes. You cannot mortgage each and every sector of the economy to the Chinese. What about the locals?

      You have really messed up on this one Ka Lungu iwe

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    • Zambian government is bankrupt. So if it can’t look after its own people since independence , then what was point ? Know point of independence . Just waisted your time and stop making 24 October as a public holiday . Rather change to China’s calendar, since you are always borrowing loans . $80 billion Zambians owns to foreign institutions and government . Next 2 years it will be $100 billion in loans . Still people will vote for the some government again .

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    • I am not sure how people want to talk about reducing mealie meal without reducing the cost of producing maize?
      This reduction of mealie meal price to please the working class in towns and keep the rural masses poorer is not the solution at all, chinese or no chinese, PPP or no PPP?

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    • Opening up milling companies ia the 10 provinces was Sata’s idea and we already know about it, its not a new idea its been there in the process since 2013

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  1. Cottan, Bushe you stop sponsoring boxing yakwa Esther phiri naba coach bakwe ba Emmanuel mwamba?

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  2. This must be April F.OOLs day joke. 50 years after independence a president goes to China to go beg for a country to establish milling companies.

    I never made a mistaking leaving.

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    • There is always a beginning. Please government go ahead and do what you can. This will also help in the reduction of poverty and create employment in Zambia

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    • Ba @TheEngineer (Australia now Germany), you are such a patronizing a–hole! And you are wonder why the Chines are being invited?

      Well, I am sure Australia and Germany have appreciated your contributions in their countries, but don’t make a mistake of thinking your absence in Zambia is of any consequence to anyone other than your bululus—you left and NO ONE MISSES YOU, bwana mukubwa!

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    • When we told you infrasture development is important you cried ati we are wasting money. This is now the benefit. My relatives from lundazi and Mumbwa can sell their maize at their respective places and don’t need mealie to come from Cotton who puts a mark up for Esther through sponsorship . Guys this is Simple Business which GBM always says u don’t need those files of education

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    • It is indeed sad that we seem to go backwards.There are certain areas of the economy where you can involve foreigners but surely not in the milling business. Some of us are happy that the Chinese will come and set up mills in all ten provinces and we don’t see anything with that. So local people don’t have the ability to set up milling companies. This government should make an effort to empower local people and not run to the Chinese all the time!

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  3. The major back up for 10 milling plants in 10 provinces will be commercial farmers producing maize to supply to FRA grain storage depots.Without maize production from farmers it will be a futile exercise.

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    • Maize is ever available in the country and farmers will be very happy to have a ready market near them.

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  4. “In my view, the role of Government would be to ensure that millers are supplied with subsidized maize from farmers, Mr Cottan said”

    Therein lies the problem! If these millers are truly innovative and GOOD AT WHAT THEY DO, they wouldn’t be asking Govt for subsidized maize for them to provide meali meal at a reasonably fair price. When demand for a product grows, a genuine business looks to BUSINESS EXPANSION first before simply hiking prices to levels that are barely affordable by consumers. Only in MONOPOLISTIC economies do such attitudes go unchallenged—and quite frankly the few millers we have in Zambia have run this sector as a monopoly for far too long. The impunity with which they always try to blackmail Govt over this issue is proof positive of what I am saying!

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    • @Yambayamba

      So today you are supporting subsidies on maize when you supported PF thugs beating up church goers who gathered to press PF to reinstate subsidies.

      We told you subsidies are essential in a poor country like Zambia but you followed Sata blindly so that he could pocket all the money hide it away.

      PF lied that money saved from subsidies would be invested in infrastructure. So why have most projects remained unpaid for if money saved from subsidy removal was not stolen? Why have most contractors including Chinese abandoned the projects for non payment?

      PF ni ba chimbwi no plan.

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    • @wanzelu, show me where I say I support maize subsides in my post above. In fact, if you are even half as smart as us “blind Sata” followers, you will clearly see that I am actually stating exactly the opposite of what you are accusing me of doing.

      This is the problem with you UPND sycophants; you always think you are more intelligent and informed than anyone else. Even when you completely don’t get it!

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  5. Peter Cottan, am sure that you were at pains to try and please the central govt in your praing them.

    The government would have empowered the local businessmen to construct(set setup), run and manage the milling plants.

    Why should the Chinese people come and set up these milling? plants.

    Yes, as MAZ you have spoken. I challenge the Engineering Association of Zambia to state if Zambia has no engineers who can set up these milling plants and hand them over to the govt or individuals to run.The issue here is not the milling plants across the country, but the political will power of the central govt.
    How much will be fuel at the time of the commencement of these plants. Who will determine the floor prices of maize?

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  6. You cottan, are you okay? Are u sure govt cannot run milling companies? Why the rush into suggesting PPP? Are u very afraid that your double exploitation of maize suppliers and nshima eaters is at the beginning of the end? It is absolutely unacceptable that iwisa (ubunga) is at half the price in the UK to the price in Zed. So if govt will make it very cheap and threaten your inflated profits then tough, just deal with it

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  7. No No No Peter Cottan.
    EL is forced to take this path because pleading with you and others to reduce mealie meal prices have not yielded anything. You have been using price of staple food as weapon to hold government to ransom.
    We have heard this nonsense of saying government should not run milling companies from 1991 but things have not improved for a common man. EL is the future not going back. No PPP. keep your mills to compete with government. Why kill competition. You want to be winners in all situations at the expense of poor Zambians. Enough id enough. This selfishness is stinking and must be combed.
    Had you listened to government calls for you to treat the poor as human, EL will not chosen this path. Munamuyamba mweka.

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  8. This guy is merely contradicting himself…President Lazy hasn’t said anything about PPP so how is this a good idea!!

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  9. Am a supporter of EL, but I don’t agree with his “Chinese solution”. The Govt exercises “price controls” on poor peasants on how much they pay for maize. To keep bunga prices down Govt should ve been doing the same:- “control prices of mealie meal”. We Zambians based abroad have seen for ourselves the “power” of the Chinese. The Chinese, yes wil come to Zed & reduce prices, even to half. But Chinese do not carry costs of production. There wil b no employment to talk about. The wil b no salaries to talk about. The competition wil o close. Yes, we all agree Millers work as a cartel to fix prices, but thats how o business do to make maximum profit. name any industry. Control is o they needed. The milling Industry wil die. Only the Chinese wil play in it. Wait ba EL, u wil mess up…

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  10. In my opinion, send educated Zambians to China and let them learn the required skills. Then they will come back home and build these milling plants the whole country. The price of mealie meal will drop drastically. This is comparatively cheaper than all the other politically castigated opinions, in my view.

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  11. Imwe Ba zambian based abroad. U know nothing. Keep it your self.
    You are just cleaners, working 4 or 5 jobs in a day. Piece work.
    We have been there. We know what you do. Come home and see if you have what locals have. U will find out that locals are much advanced than you think.
    Ask professor Chirwa. He thought he was king. He is humble and obedient to locals,

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  12. Milling profits are very low.Less than three kwacha profit maybe made from selling a bag.Meaningful profits are made because of higher turnover.In manufacturing,this is how generally it is.It is very difficult to make huge price reductions.The only solution is to make the price of maize (raw material) cheap.We were buying mealie at K38 in MMD govt because FRA was selling a bag of maize (50kg bag)to millers at K40.To day,the minimum price for maize is K60.My take is that the project will fail.Govt must work on lowering the price of maize.

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  13. KK spent huge sums of money to educate us Zambians but what did we demand in return! White collar jobs! After 50 yrs of independence we cannot see Zambians partnering to drive the economy of this country by creating worthwhile industries.

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  14. No matter what government does, oppositions are there to oppose. My warning to fools is that give credit where it is due. Those saying give it to locals are equally mad. Two days ago there was news that 46 contractors have abandoned the projects, when given this opportunity, they will equally do the same. Change your mindset first and show your potential.

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  15. If wishes and plans were actions, Zambia would have had a new constitution, more money in our pockets, lower taxes etc. Another Donchi kwalasha

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  16. Let us learn to give credit where it is due and not just oppose every government move for the sake of contradiction. Ingratitude is poison for the soul.

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  17. Finally millers you are done.kwasila.kwamana.chapwa. I hope the under 5/ neganega economist will support this move.

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  18. PPP for what, you private milling cartels have afflicted Zambians with exorbitant mealie meal prices. GVT wants to provide affordable nsima to its people, then you stick your ass around for a partnership?

    fools, gvt has to do it alone, the Ministry of agriculture can handle this project without interference from economic hit-men like Cottan and GBM…

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  19. This is long overdue. We adopted the colonialists’ model and with supreme ignorance exploited our own people. How do you buy grain and transport it 2000 km to the miller and then drive the mealie meal back where you bought the grain? We have harping on this very principle of poor logistics and mistaken policy management and most of us were actually hounded out of our comfort zones for trying to help our own government. Mwefipuba mwe – lomba njala yanyokola ndipo mwapya ndiye pamene mumvela vimene tenze kumi uzhya! Styopeti! Desheti!

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  20. This sounds a good move. I am sure the government wants to implement good ideas for the sake of us-its people.
    However, i would like to assure you that this particular move will never take off. Reason- It is unsustainable. Farmers sell their maize at 70 for a 50 kg bag to FRA. This maize is processed to produce mealie meal. The 50 kg bag reduces to some amount im not sure but may be 46 kg. Factor in the cost processing, ie electricity or diesel or both.

    Then sell the mealie meal at 60. How much profit are you going to make? From that profit, pay your workers and make sure you remain with something for the business to continue running.

    Please dont think im negative. I am just trying to be realistic. Someone else can also propose how this can be running profitably. As for me, i know

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  21. How does government find useless people like the Chinese and peter Cottan to produce our national food. This is a perfect recipe for hunger .

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  22. The reason for global partners is such moves. We have learned dynamic leaders. Zambians just partner with the Chinese and get the mills up and running. Hats off to the. Government!!!! I will be one of the millers. Can’t miss this opportunity at all. Thank you. After all backache nshikwete. It’s called PPP Brice. Let’s go for it

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