Dora Siliya
Dora Siliya

GOVERNMENT says it may direct the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to offload maize from the country’s national reserves to millers to bring down the prices of mealie meal.

And Government has accused cartels among grain traders of deliberately withholding maize in anticipation of the lifting of the ban on exports of the commodity.

Minister of Agriculture Dora Siliya said the measure will be taken to prompt grain traders who are allegedly hoarding most stocks of grain to offload it to the millers and at lower prices.

Ms Siliya was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when she addressed journalists shortly after having a meeting with the Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ).

“The FRA is holding stocks of only about 290,000 tonnes but in the country we have over 700,000 tonnes except that the majority of this grain is being held by the grain traders,” she said.

Ms Siliya said there seems to be a disagreement in terms of prices between the Millers Association of Zambia and the GTAZ, which has resulted in the millers asking Government to offload maize from FRA.

And Ms Siliya says there are some cartels within GTAZ who do not want to sell their maize to the millers because they are expecting to export it when the ban is lifted.

“The message should be loud and clear that Government is not going to lift the ban on maize grain export because we are taking into consideration the food security of the country even though it is not holding most of the grain,” she said.

Ms Siliya said it is expected that the ban on grain exports would force the prices of maize to go down so that the millers could access it, which would trigger a reduction in mealie-meal prices.

She said it is not in the interest of Government to control mealie-meal prices, but that it has to ensure it is affordable to the ordinary citizens.

But GTAZ executive director Chambuleni Simwinga said the high prices of mealie meal could be attributed to low production of the commodity or smuggling.

MAZ on Wednesday said the prices of mealie meal are expected to drop following the consultative meeting it had with President Lungu in Lusaka three days ago.

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

Prices of mealie meal have in the recent months gradually risen from an average of about K70 to over K100 especially on the Copperbelt.

Meanwhile, the Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) has commended President Lungu for his decision to intervene in the reduction of the prices of mealie meal.

ZACA information and publicity officer Juba Sakala said in a statement yesterday that the intervention will send a strong message to groups of people that are manipulating mealie-meal prices.

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59 COMMENTS

    • Iwe Siliya, waba bokosi. We the people are hungry why do you say MAY instead of WILL. I want food and atleast give coupons. We are hungry like yesterday we did not eat because no mealie meal. If the presidents and you eat 5 meals a day what about us who just want 3 meals. Twapenga twachula.

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    • Is this what is called being back and energized almost like taunting Kambwili the owner of the party. Five years is a very very long time in politics.

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    • Off load Malawian maize first. Maize Cartels are those who swindled Malawian minister Chaponda at state house.

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    • So govt has been hoarding maize through FRA to create an artificial shortage of the commodity and deliberately push up maize meal prices. And they expect Zambians to cheer them on? Where did we get these people from kanshi?

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    • Imagine if we diversified our diet flooded the market with rice from Luapula and Western Province, encouraged consumption of cassava based products to suppliment maize meal like our West African cousins…ask ourselves who would lose most from this? Lazy Lungu imported and single sourced 200+ overpriced Solar Hammer Mills for $200 million from China as a solution BUT we are back to selfsame cycle meaning this was a utter waste of resources

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    • you are dumb. Go to school! always finding fault with govt. accentuate some positives and ask how your lazy internet azzzzzz can contribute.

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    • MAZ and GTAZ haggling is private business as each is trying to maximize profits so the two don’t fit in the government excuses over reduction of costs theirs is that government provides a conducive playing field for business! On the other hand its governments responsibility to see to it that the nation has food and right policies ensuring availability of this food are in place! Government does not need to harangue MAZ or GTAZ but just act and intervene to make mealie meal available and affordable not using words as “may” for MAZ and GTAZ are private entities which government does not subsidize! Blind policies are costly its not MAZ and GTAZ who removed subsidies!

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    • Lungu has no common sense. Siliya is a journalist. She does not have any qualifications or experience in agriculture! Therefore why was she appointed agriculture minister? Her gross mismanagement of the maize pests demonstrates are incompetence. She has failed to lead the ministry of agriculture. On principle she should resign. This will not happen because this fat woman is corrupt and was appointed by an equally corrupt president!

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    • Lungu has no common sense. Siliya is a journalist. She does not have any qualifications or experience in agriculture! Therefore why was she appointed agriculture minister? Her gross mismanagement of the maize pests demonstrates are incompetence. She has failed to lead the ministry of agriculture. On principle she should resign. This will not happen because this fat woman is corrupt and was appointed by an equally corrupt president!

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    • @House Fly “Lunshi” just work hard maybe Umusungu will bring you bakolwe ne Mbeba for supper you Musungu “Empty” Worshiper, don’t you know that all these are the outcomes of the White man’s slavery weight on Africa maybe people like @Visungu will will teach you some good grammar to make you White and more black inside.

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  1. Dora’s blue acrylic nails are straight from the hood, that’s what you need to take into consideration as you read her statement.

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    • I am not kneen on her nails because they are attached to the fingers used to give the parliament two fingers and her fingers are attached to an uncultured body. Her mouth seems like it’s straight from giving a blowjob to a Namibian married man in USA so I don’t even believe a word the dirty mouth says.

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  2. But Dora siliya is the worst minister in the history of this nation.There is nothing she knows about meal mill prices. Nyini! Cihule!

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    • Blue nails are good for grabbing d!ck before blowing. Dollar Syria should just admit that PF is broke and cannot buy the maize. This must be the first time in history where most grain is in private hands and not FRA. Grain traders can hoard and wait until the price is right especially as FRA is no longer traders of last resort. Zambians are fvcked for trusting govt to incompetents.

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  3. We use dollar RESERVES to strengthen the kwacha, why wait for the maize RESERVES!!!!
    But remember that such moves are only temporal and once you have exhausted the RESERVES, what happens to the PRICES?
    Do not make decisions based on PRICES, but make decisions based on VALUE, as value lasts and always bosses the price!!! I thought our economy was now based on the dictates of Market Forces!

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    • But I am sure you do understand that “market forces” and markets can be manipulated, right? And this is exactly the point Dora Siliya driving home here—MANIPULATION OF “MARKET FORCES” BY UNSCRUPULOUS MAIZE TRADING CARTELS. Which is illegal anywhere in the world for exactly the reason you have pointed out; Govts cannot FOREVER rely on “reserves” of whatever commodity is in question to RIGHT the market—everybody in the Market needs to PLAY FAIR for “free” Capitalistic Economics to work!

      Love her or hate her, at some point we need to stop and think about these things despite our appetite to criticize those in Govt. Some of the stuff being said here are purely childish and nonsensical to the extent that they have nothing to do with Siliya’s statement but PURE UNADULTERATED…

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    • continue:

      PERSONAL ATTACKS and INSULTS. I am not sure if this makes us feel better about ourselves and get assured in our manhood/womanhood or what? But there is simply too much pettiness and shallowness doing rounds on LT nowadays!

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  4. Tinkering with food security.They don’t have minimum reserves but are still exporting the little they have and they have failed to manage the maize marketing.

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  5. What are cost drivers of mealie meal prices? While supply is an issue the main problem is the cost of maize, cost of milling and the Profit margin. The millers have no control over electricity,fuel,water, wages etc costs. Millers have to make a profit to stay in business. If the govt so wishes it can subsidize mealie meal if they have the money.

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    • @ Miller the problem here is you millers want to maximise your profits. You are in business to make profit but profit maximisation at the expense of poor people is morally and ethically wrong. You can’t say govt should subsidise, already the govt is subsidising with the farmer input and support programme, millions of USD are poured in so that you (capitalist) millers can buy maize at an undervalued price which you then sell at abnormally high price. It is so much cheaper now for one to buy maize and take to a local hammermill (chigayo) than buy from you guys.

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    • If its so much cheaper to take maize to a local hammer mill why is it no one is doing it? FRA can simply open small depots in town centres to off load 50kg maize bags…..the reason they wont as they all benefit from it -politically, corruptly,economically etc…who are you to preach about morals and ethics of business when you have a choice.

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    • Maize farming and milling is a business. Loafers can go fvck themselves and starve. Why don’t they grow their own maize if they want cheap mealie meal?

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  6. Just do it Minister Dora, you may be dealing with UPNDonkeys here. Always remember their misguided schemes to make the country ungivernable? They brought turmoil to the kwacha by buying off all the dollars until BOZ taught them a lesson they will never forget by inflicting huge losses on them, they blacked out 5 provinces, they attempted to black out another three, they attempted to destroy the High courts and lynch all the judges, now they are at it again with the staple food. Minister Dora, there is no time for speeches just do it!

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  7. This woman is giving Kambwili two fingers with her acrylic nailed fingers how sad ythat in five years or so she is out and back. through the back door.

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    • Get used to PF belonging to Lungu. In case you have not noticed, Sata is chewing soil at Embassy Park. A living dog is much better than a dead lion.

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  8. A lot of sperm has been offloaded in her brain that is where the problem herein lies

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    • Iwe mbuli waya sana with your insults these days. Has DENKETE gone to your mash brain????

      DO YOU “GET OFF” ([email protected]@te) WHEN YOU COME UP WITH SOME RUBBISH LIKE THIS? LT, some of this STUFF and LOONIES need your attention, ASAP. Pleeeeaseeeee do something about this behavior. It has just gotten way out of control!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. Basic Economics will tell u that the price mealie meal is not determined by Supply and Demand forces alone. The cost of producing a bag of mealie meal is determined by cost of maize,electricity and water tariffs, fuel, wages, profit margin. The cost of producing a bag of mealie meal depends on input costs. Inflation and cost of living are the major drivers of mealie meal prices. Can Dora understand the mealie meal economics? I doubt it.

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  10. So are these the fruits of that meeting Edgar Lungu had with those millers? Hahahaha surly do you need a meeting with the president in order to understand the basic behavior of the market in terms of supply and demand???

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  11. FRA may not have any maize to offload. Many farmers didn’t want to take the risk of not getting paid after supplying maize to FRA.

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  12. First it was Solar mills, spent millions of dollars, nothing has happened, now offload all the reserves of maize together with what you stall and hoodwinked the Malawians who in turn lost colossal sums of dollars, went to the US stashed the loot and now you are back with plan B. Plan B is to accuse imaginary cartels and UPND of holding to the maize and spark price increases. Dora, dumb, disoriented and now confused and scared of her own shadow is panicking, no direction, all lies have dried up with the commission of inquiry in Malawi looming, sweating in the buttocks, the Congolz has run away, on mamamier.KKK more popcorns please.

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  13. no matter how much maize they offload to the millers as long as the cost of producing a bag does not go down the price will not go down,the government should work on reducing the COST OF PRODUCTION not these back and forth accusations…

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  14. Its that time of the year again when you accuse grain traders and millers of hoarding maize..who can blame them; you think they are a charity.Just last week Lazy Lungu held a CLOSED DOOR MEETING with millers…the question is what was discussed there; is it tax relief or lifting of the maize export ban?
    Our politicans will not critically look at this issue of FRA and diversification of our diet because they benefit personally from it. The moment a ban is lifted its the political elite with their trucks who are the first into cross into DRC.

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  15. Zambians were promised the price of maize meal to come down as it has done in Northern province once the solar powered maize milers were operational through out Zambia.
    When is this project going to be completed or is it discriminated to the rest of Zambia except Northern province?

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  16. MunaDekhane
    You are the type of people who think its raining when someone is urinating on your back.
    So why is your Lazy President having closed door meetings if his Solar Hammer Mills are making in-roads and are a success? Do you not remember the reason the Lazy one rushed to single source them from his Chinese friends at $200m in the first place? Imagine if that money was better spent elsewhere even on local manufacturers to take up the challenge? Anyone can connect a solar panel to an inverter then to a battery that connects to a machine. Do you know what type of value addition that would have added to the economy or sector? Even ZRL Coachworks in Kabwe would easily assembly all this but since you are empty tins who only think spend spend and outsource…you will never get anywhere,…

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    • MunaDekhane
      You are the type of people who think its raining when someone is urinating on your back.
      …you will never get anywhere, you will continue applauding myopia and mediocrity!!

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  17. Comment:everything will be fine pipo coz this hasnt being the first tym such happning,so lets just live everything in the hands of the presidnt and his governmnt,remembr patience pays,thank you peace.

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  18. MAY!!!!! y shud somebody publicly speak somethng she is not sure of…..Presumably i can serve my country as a better minister dan some of this great thieves in such offices ????????????

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  19. MAY!!!!! y shud somebody publicly speak somethng she is not sure of…..Presumably i can serve my country as a better minister dan some of this great thieves in such offices ????????????

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  20. I am a staunch defender of The Hon. Ms. Dora Siliya M.P. minister of agriculture for the republic of Zambia our great nation.How come you are always suppressing my contributions LT YET you keep publishing nonsensical profane rubbish directed at our next President and first female leader? Let the nincompoops wallow in their sexist hatred and devote your paper to listen carefully to the learned philosophical agenda and blue print Ms Siliya is swiftly presenting awaiting our overwhelming mandate. Call me what you will, but then be prepared to receive the heavy counterpunches LT willing. Respect Her excellency Mama President to be, Dora Mwanza Siliya. Her service wll be an honor regardless of nail polish color. By the way she is colorgenic too! awesome!

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  21. Pay the transporters long over due bills first then talk of offloading the maize . Chola you need to Jack up and be fair with all the transporters , looks like u only paying the PF cardres . What’s wrong Boss ???

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  22. That’s why you lost the elections imwe Ba HH worshippers. You it is just insults after insults GIVE US SOLUTIONS not insults make us want to vote for you. How can we vote for a group of people with so much hatred??? You forget that His Excellence ECL and Dora Siliya are both Zambians ,change your approach show us love not hatred.

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  23. FRA MUST SET UP ITS OWN MILLING PLANT.IT WILL COST ABOUT US$10MILLION FOR A STATE OF THE ART PLANT.THIS WILL CREATE JOBS,GIV FRA MORE PROFITS AND ZAMBIANS WILL BE SAVED FROM BEING EXPLOITED BY MILLERS.

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  24. Dangote & GRZ as well should invest in this sector as he did with cement. Competition is needed. Too much monopoly.

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  25. Sounds like a plan. In the mean time, why not redirect those Army Worms to the Hoarders storage units, uh…?! Don’t they eat maize….its veg! Just a little location investigation…!

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  26. Dollar is still dreaming Vegas. Concentrate on sorting out this expensive mealie meal prices..
    And let your boy friend also finish the divdivorce process. He is still married legally till divorced

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