THE Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) has welcomed President Lungu’s plan to engage millers to establish why the price of mealie-meal is spiralling to unaffordable levels.
MAZ chairman Andrew Chintala said in an interview yesterday millers valued the concerns raised by President Lungu about mealie-meal prices and appreciated his wish to engage them over the matter.
“We have also been concerned about the prices and we are happy that the pronouncement to engage us has come from the head of State himself since we have been having discussions with the Ministry of Agriculture over the same,” he said.
Mr Chintala said the challenge the millers are facing is the increase in the maize prices, being the only raw material, which was trading at about K2,600 per tonne.
He said the increase in the prices of the mealie-meal had been created by the fact that maize was only available with traders on the open market.
Mr Chintala said each miller decided the price of mealie-meal depending on how much the traders had decided to sell their maize to them.
“Things could be better if the Food Reserve Agency were supplying maize to us instead. I, however, believe a solution will be found after our meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture today [yesterday],” he said.
Mr Chintala said consumers also should be careful not to be exploited by some mealie-meal dealers who exaggerated the prices.
He said traders should also be engaged because they were the ones holding on to the grain and that a win-win agreement should be reached among all those involved in the supply chain of the commodity.