Sunday, June 23, 2024

Mealie meal prices on the Copperbelt stabilises

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Food Reserve Agency (FRA) Chairperson, Kelvin Hambwezya says government’s intervention of selling maize to Millers has resulted in stabilizing the price of mealie – meal .

Mr Hambwezya who was on tour of millers on the Copperbelt Province, said at Jambo Milling company in Ndola that government through the Ministry of Agriculture should consider giving them relief to export 20 percent of mealie meal so that they can further reduce the price on the local market.

He said all millers who are receiving maize from government have flooded the market with mealie-meal because they went on full scale production.

The FRA Chairperson said he is happy that if the millers that are receiving the maize from the agency will continue reducing the price of the commodity and cooperating with government , a consideration for them to export excess mealie-meal will be made.

Mr Hambwezya said when he toured Jambo Milling Company in Ndola to assess reports that the company had over supplied the market and people were no longer buying the mealie-meal because the market was saturated.

He disclosed that FRA supplied 6500 metric tonnes of maize to Jumbo milling company in Ndola and the company has satisfied the market.

Mr Hambwezya has urged the consumers on the Copperbelt to ensure that they buy mealie-meal at the retail price of K175 and at the wholesale price of K165.

Millers Association of Zambia President Andrew Chintala said he visited the Jambo milling to appreciate the challenges the miller is facing in terms of production.

Mr Chintala said the Miller was operating at 24 hours but has reduced production because the demand for mealie meal has reduced.

“You will appreciate that mealie meal has a short shelf life span hence the need to assist them to find ways of helping them to find a market,” Mr Chintala said.

He said the intervention that is being put in place is yielding positive results as it would have been bad if there was a shortage of mealie-meal but now the millers have abundant commodity in their store rooms.

Mr Chintala noted that the intended purpose of satisfying the local market has been achieved and what has remained is for the government to relax the conditions for exporting the 20 percent of the mealie-meal by the millers.

He also appealed to the consumer protection Commission to ensure that people selling mealie-meal at the exorbitant prices are controlled to ensure that the consumers are not exploited.

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