Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) says President Edgar Lungu’s warning that government could introduce price controls if miller’s continue exploiting consumers is a threat on the operations of the private sector.
CSPR Civic Participation and Advocacy Programme Officer Maxson Nkhoma says President Lungu should realize that Zambia is a free market economy where prices are determined by the forces of demand and supply.
Mr. Nkhoma says President Lungu should accept that things are not well in the country due to operational challenges affecting millers in their production.
He says it is a known fact that the power deficit current the country is facing has contributed massively to the escalating mealie meal prices because millers are spending a lot on their production.
And Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda says Government is concerned with the high cost of fertilizer in the country which most farmers cannot afford.
Mr. Lubinda says this high cost of fertilizer means the country should expect reduced production in the coming farming season.
He however, says government is looking at how best it can intervene to help reduce the cost of fertilizer so that as many farmers as possible can afford and thereby produce as much as they can.
Mr. Lubinda says government owes it to the farmers and to the citizens at large to ensure that the cost of fertilizer goes down.
He states that this is considering the impact farming has in reducing poverty in the country.
The Agriculture Minister has since encouraged relevant stakeholders to come up with suggestions on how best government can help reduce the cost of fertilizer.