NINE millers have signed contracts with the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ) to receive maize under a tripartite agreement which is expected to result in a reduction in the wholesale and retail price of mealie-meal.
FRA public relations officer Daniel Msoka said in an interview yesterday that the millers that have so far signed the contracts are National Milling Corporation Limited, Superior Milling Company Limited and Nyimba Millers Limited.
Others are Chat Milling Company Limited, Ghirardi Milling, Jimbara Milling of Mansa district in Luapula, Delicious Milling and Kasama Milling.
Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) president Andrew Chintala said his association, GTAZ and the Ministry of Agriculture will continue meeting to ensure that more millers are issued with contracts as soon as possible to ensure that the whole country is covered.
“Some millers have started receiving maize from GTAZ, meaning that from the nine, we will be able to see that they effect changes to the mealie-meal prices either tomorrow [today] or Friday,” he said.
Mr Chintala said MAZ and GTAZ are hopeful that they will be heard by the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that the process of issuing contracts to other millers across the country is expedited.
Mr Chintala also said there is need for Government to put in place measures to protect consumers from exploitation by retailers, which would make them not to feel the impact of the reduction.
He said all mealie-meal retail outlets should have a price chart corresponding with the new wholesale prices.
Mealie-meal prices in Lusaka are around K100 for a 25kg bag of breakfast meal.
According to the agreement, the price for a 25kg bag of breakfast meal is expected to drop to K85 and K75 for roller meal.