President Lungu’s threats to millers not a solution to mealie meal hikes

5
1,275 views

mealie meal2

Millers are purchasing maize at 1.8 kwacha per kg from local farmers, translating to K45 per bag. The government is however proposing a selling price of K45, the price it has fixed for the cooperative produced mealie meal. If Millers were to sell a K25 at kK5, they would instead be operating at a loss.

The threats by the head of state to introduce price controls will only mean Millers will pull out of the business as it will no longer be profitable, leaving many milling employees out of employment and farmers with no ready markets for their produce. Despite the honorable Kambwili declaring that the recent Kwacha debacle doesn’t affect the milling chain, small scale farmers are buying a bag of fertilizer at K500, from K180 to K250, last farming season. It is therefore difficult for farmers to sell a bag of maize for less than the current selling price.

Millers are also strained, because auxiliary requirements like cleaning chemicals, maintanance equipment, spares are all affected by the dancing currency. Further, loadshedding means Millers have had to rely on a more expensive alternatives in gensets. Government should discuss tangible solutions and target the weakest link in the milling chain as opposed to campaign rhetoric and threats that do not translate to any meaningful solution.

My Proposal

  1. Government should consider permitting Millers to sell their mealie meal to DRC, as was in the past before mealie meal exports to DRC were banned. The price in the Congo is over three times the Zambian price.This can be done on condition that they can sell to Zambians at reasonable prices
  2. Government should look at the best way to cushion fertilizer pricing, the FISP program can also include sensitization campaigns on natural manure and compost
  3. Government should encourage diversification away from nshima as the staple food, thereby creating less demand for maize and lowering its price of mealie. This may in turn improve the health of the nation as a more diverse diet will provide better nutrition.
  4. Government can add Millers as a priority industry when it comes to energy rationing on condition that they provide us with reasonable pricing.

The government must first provide alternatives before rushing to threaten business owners. Our country is already limping and we should ensure that we work at fixing it together, because working antagonistically with Zambian business men will only cripple us further.

Eng Niza PHIRI

Munali aspiring candidateshortage-of-mealie-meal

Loading...

5 COMMENTS

  1. “Government should discuss tangible solutions and target the weakest link”…..

    And the weakest link IS…………..

    Jamesoni Lungu and his clowns in PF !!!!!!

    These people have no clue on how to manage an economy. Running a country is way beyond their capability. If they had any brains at all, they would just RESIGN and call fresh elections.

    If they wait for 2016 they will be extremely sorry!

    0

    0
    • Last night I had sweet potato with hot chilli source and cabage and some beans. Try it very nice guys and health. It is not like nshima were by you eat and you feel like sleeping immediately. Living here in Australia, I always have mealie meal but I eat nshima maybe 1 or 2 times weekly. In Zambia today we have alternatives but we just do not utilize them well. You can try this dish. Pumpkin, beans, dry fish with vegetables. add a bit of chili man this is just nice. I love Zambia and after living abroad I realize that Zambia has a lot of food but problem we base hunger on Maize (ubwali). I eat simple food and I find that I am full. I can not remember when I had mcdonalds, or hungry jacks.
      I would advise that ZNBC start airing kitchen programs of food preparation excluding nshima.

      0

      0
  2. Emg. Niza Phiri,

    What alternatives staples to nshima do you have in mind, that would have more nutritional value?

    0

    0
    • Last night I had sweet potato with hot chilli source and cabage and some beans. Try it very nice guys and health. It is not like nshima were by you eat and you feel like sleeping immediately. Living here in Australia, I always have mealie meal but I eat nshima maybe 1 or 2 times weekly. In Zambia today we have alternatives but we just do not utilize them well. You can try this dish. Pumpkin, beans, dry fish or kapenta with vegetables. add a bit of chili man this is just nice. I love Zambia and after living abroad I realize that Zambia has a lot of food but problem we base hunger on Maize (ubwali). I eat simple food and I find that I am full. I can not remember when I had mcdonalds, or hungry jacks.
      I would advise that ZNBC start airing kitchen programs of food preparation excluding…

      0

      0
  3. What puzzles me is everyone sings about diversifying from copper. Yet we can’t take full advantage of a commodity that’s all over Zambia: maize. We can make a lot of money exporting mealie meal to Congo. If a 25kg bag of mealie meal was being sold for $20 in January in DRC, that was K120 (20×6=K120) back then. This time with a depreciated Kwacha trading at K13/USD, we are talking about K260 per bag. These are actually conservative values. We are meant to believe that there’s a bumper harvest, why then can’t we export surplus? Don’t just export raw maize to Mugabe, export mealie meal.

    0

    0

Comments are closed.