Government has directed the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to with immediate effect provide millers with maize grain in view of the limited availability of the grain on the market.
The FRA will make available the maize grain to millers up to 30th April, 2016 at K80.00 per 50kg bag or K1,700 per metric ton.
Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda says under this programme the FRA will have to enter into legally binding contracts with millers that are interested to participate in the programme.
Mr. Lubinda has clarified that this programme is however voluntary and therefore millers are free to either participate in the programme or not.
He adds that millers who will participate in this programme and sign contracts with the FRA will maintain their wholesale price of mealie meal at not more than K70 per 25kg bag for breakfast meal and not more than K55 per 25 kg bag for roller meal, while maize bran will not exceed K30 per 25kg bag.
He further states that millers will continue to allow retailers to maintain a retail margin of not more than K5 per 25kg bag of the mentioned maize products.
Mr. Lubinda has also clarified that millers that will access maize grain from the FRA under this program will not be allowed to export maize and mealie meal as this programme is meant to benefit Zambians.
Mr. Lubinda has told Parliament in a ministerial statement this afternoon that millers who adhered to government’s incentive to fully participate in maize marketing this season will be supplied with maize for a further two months which is up to 30th June, 2016.
He has explained that this measure is intended to act as an incentive for continued participation in maize marketing by millers.