The Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) has called on the government to give incentives to millers in the country in order to cushion the current high cost of production which has led to the increase in the price of mealie meal.
ZACA Executive Secretary Juba Sakala has said that government should work on reducing import duty and come up with special tariffs on both electricity and water among others to help millers boost their businesses.
Mr. Sakala said that most millers are unable to borrow from banks due to high-interest rates, a situation which has made it difficult for them to get raw materials and has since called on the Ministry of Agriculture to call for a stakeholder meeting with millers and farmers to discuss the way forward.
Meanwhile, The Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition Alliance (CSO-SUN) has backed calls by stakeholders urging the government to temporarily stop the export of maize to neighboring countries.
CSO-SUN Country Director Mathews Mhuru said that the flash floods experienced in some parts of the country have adversely affected major maize producing districts across the country.
Mr. Mhuru said that the situation may negatively affect crop yields from the current farming season, hence the need to conduct an early crop forecast survey for the 2021/2022 farming season to determine how farmers are performing so that it can decide on whether to continue exporting maize or not.
Mr. Mhuru said that if the current situation is not addressed the cost of living for ordinary citizens will soon increase to unacceptable levels and force millions of people to remain in abject poverty.