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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Mealie meal prices to drop soon after MAZ meeting with the President

Headlines Mealie meal prices to drop soon after MAZ meeting with the President

THE Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) says the prices of mealie meal are expected to drop following its consultative meeting with President Lungu in Lusaka two days ago.
MAZ president Andrew Chintala said in an interview yesterday, that a solution to the high prices of the commodity has been found and that modalities would soon be put in place to ensure the reduction becomes a reality.

He declined to give details of the measures MAZ and the government have come up with to ensure the price reduction.

“The meeting was very successful. The President wanted to know the cause of high mealie-meal prices and we explained to him and upon discussions a solution was found. The price will go down but we shall issue a comprehensive statement on the reduction as soon as we finalise talks with the Ministry of Agriculture,” he said.

And Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ) executive director Chambuleni Simwinga has said the high prices of mealie meal can be attributed to low production of the commodity or smuggling.

“There are two issues at play: either production of mealie meal has gone down or a lot of it is finding itself in border areas. That is the only logical explanation because there is enough maize stock in the country,” he said.

Mr Simwinga urged Government to offload reserve maize to milling companies.

President Lungu on Tuesday met MAZ representatives to find a solution to the increasing prices of mealie meal and directed the Ministry of Agriculture to hold a follow-up meeting with the millers.

Mr Simwinga said the two parties had an open conversation over the price of the staple commodity.

The President emphasised that Government and millers are partners who should always work together to ensure that the interests of the people, especially the poor, are protected.

Prices of mealie meal have in recent months gradually risen from an average of about K70 to K100. In some border towns where the demand for the commodity is high from neighbouring countries, the price is as high as K200.

Meanwhile, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Kampamba Mulenga has assured the country that the Government is working tirelessly to ensure there is no hunger in the country, despite continued cases of maize and mealie meal smuggling.

Ms Mulenga said Government was closely monitoring and fighting smuggling activities involving the country’s staple food.

“I am assuring the Zambian people that mealie meal will be available and there will be no hunger. As Government, we are tirelessly monitoring the situation and people should not be worried,” she said.

The minister was speaking in her constituency of Kalulushi yesterday after donating school requirements at Twalubuka Primary School.

The donation was arranged in collaboration with Red Arm, a school in South Africa and comprised materials for 100 pupils at Twalubuka; 100 uniforms and 100 pairs of shoes meant for the less privileged pupils.

“As area MP, I have worked in partnership with Red Arm a school in South Africa to help donate the materials to the pupils, “she said.

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  1. Current prices within normal range! If really citizens wish reduction, half current pricing is good enough. Otherwise refuction by k1 to k10 is tantamount to mockery!

    • Thus is a govt that has no idea on anything. Ways to reduces mealie meal prices among other things include reducing cost of inputs, timely distribution of inputs and NOT sending the military to fight army worms.

    • Very soon the President will stop standing through the sunroof of his official vehicle after people in Kitwe responded to his flashing of the PF symbol with ‘signals’ of hunger. It was very embarrassing to say the least.

    • The solution to mealie meal smuggling is more production of the commodity, and flooding the neighboring countries with mealie meal. What the “smuggling” activity is telling you is that mealie meal is a HOT commodity right now, and has a high demand from our neighboring countries. Which means, if we had a government with brains, they would realize that forex could be earned from exporting mealie meal in large quantities to these countries, which are evidently presenting themselves as markets. So instead of whining that there’s smuggling, rather take advantage by encouraging more mealie meal production so you can export the commodity in large quantities, and that’s good for our country’s GDP. Alas, Lungu would rather order the private companies to bring the prices down, instead of…

    • (Continued)… encouraging more production. Whatever “solution” this is, it’s temporally and superficial, meant to hoodwink the gullible. A president should never be meddling in private companies’ affairs, in a free market economy, unless the company is engaging in criminal activities — but that’s another story.

  2. Zambian let us be analytical when was the president when the same Miller increased the price of the maize and what was they justification?

  3. The price of mealie meal depends on the cost of maize from the farmer,milling and Profit margin to the miller. Millers have no control over the maize price,cost of electricity and water etc.MAZ has to take account of these costs and make a profit to stay in business. If govt has the money to subsidize the mealie prices they are welcome to do so. Milling is a business so we can’t run our milling companies without making a profit.

    • People should just pay up. The price of mealie meal is fine right now. Who is paying for millers having no power during day time? Who is paying for late farming inputs, army works and stalk borers? The K200 for a 25kg sounds like a good target price for 2017. Maize farming and milling is a business, too!

    • Let all the solar milling plants start operating and we see how you will like it Mr. Miller. They will have a Dangote effect on you.

    • Stimela what has happened to the K45 per 25kg solar mealie meal we heard about during campaigns, you chaps were bragging about buying mealie meal at your solar mills at K45 just three months ago, and what has happened to the commission of enquiry on 2016 election, were are those commissioners?

    • @ Stimela the solar milling plants were long installed has anybody stopped them producing the promised cheap mealie meal as to compete with other established milling companies? That I wish to know otherwise let the millers not be coerced to reduce on arrived at pricing of their commodity without those asking them to reduce filling in on the expected profit margin loss! In any case following on @ Divide @ Rule why should government even start haranguing the millers when all that is needed is to get Lungu’s solar milling plants to start producing the K45/bag mealie meal?

  4. After selling all the maize to Zimbabwe and Malawi, pocketing the money, send Dora to stash the loot, take a selfie with a rapist, the drama continues.
    What a waste of leadership, what about the so called mills that were distributed across the country were we were told that they will be selling it at K45 per bag. Or was it another scheme to steal money from unsuspecting Zambians in the name of dununa reverse. Why then have you gone back to the millers of if you brought in your own milling skeletons? Vision less indeed, next to go up is power by Zesco any time from now, how are you going to reconcile the two? Nonsense.

  5. So the cost of mealie meal is dependent on these “talks” with the President??? shameful and what a kantemba way of running the economy. who is fooling who? By the way, where is Mutati?

  6. Once lungu dies everything will get better including price of maize. Lungu has been stealing with his ministers. We want answers on the maize gate scandal.


    • @James I don’t know how old you’re but I would like to remind you that millers increased the price of mealie meal in KK ‘s time when fuel and electricity was almost free and loading Shedding was not in our vocabulary. This forced KK to repossess the mills but it was too late for him.

    • @ Ndaje khakis no need for @ James to recall history for things that were experienced and which provided the learning to enhance understanding! Its all because of the below average understanding of basic economics of production the Zambian populace revolted that the end product mealie meal was rising beyond their access manageability! The revolts led KK to take the action he did erroneously for he put the blame on millers than look into his agriculture policies at the time! Note too that revolts were mostly in high consumption areas and since then mealie meal has become a political item in the same areas which it shouldn’t be if only finding the solution is placed at source with the grain producer! In essence even under KK the production chain was in tatters! This problem will not…

  7. Let the Farmers realise the value of their sweat.! Controlling prices is not lasting solution in market-driven-economy.

    The value chain must be allowed to flow accordingly.

  8. Vision less indeed! Did i hear correctly, i think i heard someone talking about government to stop setting the maize floor price this year, it will be each farmer for himself God for us all, if this is true, i don’t know how they will manage to convince millers, when the next batvh of maize is offloaded by farmers on the market, brace for good times ahead, just buckle up and close your eyes.

  9. So the cost of mealie meal is dependent on these “talks” with the Head0fState??? shameful and what a kantemba way of running the economy. who is fooling who? By the way, where is Mutati?

  10. Lungu spent $250 million on solar Mills with a promise that they will reduce meal prices. ?.

    Blowing GRZ money as if he know how to make money yet all he knows is to borrow.

  11. Government is busy squeezing the balls of people in formal sector and private sector employers. Very soon PAYE is going up, Road toll has gone up, etc. I hope they won’t use these monies to subsidize maize meal

  12. When small scale farmers were selling their maize at K90/K100 per 50kg bag the government was quite. They should have realized as well that the people paying those monies will one one day want to make a profit from the maize they are purchasing. Imagine you buy your maize at those prices from Mumbwa and/or Kabwe, you decided to move the product to Lusaka in a warehouse, you employ people to load/offload, the same people stacks the maize in a warehouse, you employ a fumigation company to fumigate your crop so that it remains fresh and edible. The food safety procedures dictates that you monitor this crop everyday/bi-monthly, bi-annually not until you dispose of it. If you take into consideration the costs involved in all these stages you will be amazed to note that actually selling your…

    • I totally agree with you. $10.50 per 25 kg bag is very reasonable price. I buy a “Pamela” 2kg $5.00 in a Mexican store…

  13. Remember what led Lazy Lungu to go and waste a whooping $200m of our money on Chinese Solar powered Hammermills…they accused the millers of blackmailing but there he is again; who is going to account for those funds? Who is actually benefitted from that procurement?

  14. When you are clueless in creating jobs and wealth for the country it is the citizens who have to pay by way of high prices and high taxes and borrowing non stop for the country.

    This is the situation now. Zambia and zambians will pay for PF incompetence.
    You will dance some more….

  15. The so called ministers are just jumping up and down, moving from one town to another , like clues army worms fumigated with cypermethrin, you can’t even know which ministries they represent anymore, it’s all chipantepante, minister of health chitalu in luapula distributing tractors and lying to people that late delivery of farming inputs due to Presidential petition, minister of gender kalima in muchinga same story, minister of information on the copperbelt distributing school uniforms and shoes, minister of agriculture siliya just came back from…. Escapades you know the story,…… Most of what they are doing can easily be done by DCs.

  16. When I was growing up in Mudzabwera, Chingola, mealie meal was never an issue. Trucks would be driving along the streets inviting buyers of bags they were carrying. Or you would go to the shops pay for you bag, leave your hut number and the trader would deliver it at your doorstep. How this commodity became a political weapon glorified by the population, I fail to understand.

  17. Are these so called millers so dull that on their own they cannot workout their cost of production and their profit margin? why did they have to wait until they meet an illegitimate president so that he claims to be the one doing things when he is just a masquerade? This country is indeed domed with the calibre of most stooges pretending to be this and that. Tiyeni uko ba mbuli.

    • Remember before Dangote came on the scene cement was costing almost K100.00 But as soon as Dangote cement started to sell at K58.00 our local companies started selling their cement at K54.00. Now your wonder what logic lay behind the old price and the “abnormal ” reduction.

  18. This is what is known as being reactionally. Surely you will reduce because of a small short term change somewhere. What are our long term plans in terms of food security? And what has happened to the solar mills which were gotten at a large amount? Can his excellence my president give us an update?

  19. Abena Zambia lets be serious with ‘maize matters’. Maize matters on account of it being the means of survival in Zambia. The worrisome price of mealie meal is based on maize matters. The maize gate in Malawi involving Zambia is rocking the nation with a huge scandal that is likely to affect Zambia and put president EC Lungu to shame now that the Malawian president Muthalika has set up an enquiry to probe the scandal. Malawi claims to have secured a maize deal with Zambian government. Operatives being ZCF for Zambia ADMARK for Malawi. ZCF through agent ripped off profit from ADMARK by inflating price of maize. Zambian government to has some explanation to make on how agent got involved than direct deal by ZCF. Maize matters here.

  20. Isnt this going to be an artificial reduction? A reduction by the dcree of the president in an open market? The market price will become the black market price.

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