MILLERS and grain traders have signed an agreement which is expected to result in the reduction of mealie-meal prices to K85.
The two parties signed the agreement in Lusaka over the weekend in which the grain traders would supply 245,000 tonnes of maize to the millers who would in-turn flood the market with mealie-meal to ensure that the price reduces to K85 from the current price of K105 for a 25 Kilogramme bag.
The agreement came days after a deadlocked meeting between Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya, the Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) and the Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ).
The meeting had been ordered by President Lungu.
Referring to the agreement between the two parties, Ms Siliya said the Government was happy that the millers and the grain traders had acted in a patriotic manner.
“I am happy that the millers and the traders acted with patriotism and after a two-day negotiation, they signed that the grain traders would supply them with 245,000 tonnes of maize, while the Food Reserve Agency would supply their 300,000 tonnes. The prices of mealie-meal should then reduce countrywide to K85,” she said.
Ms Siliya said this when she featured on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) Sunday interview programme on Sunday evening.
Ms Siliya said even though it was a free market, the Government would ensure that mealie-meal prices were within the reach of many Zambians.
The Government would continue to facilitate for a situation that allowed the commodity to be affordable, but would also promote a private-sector agriculture industry.