By Benedict Tembo
Rose Nkandu, a trader of Chingola’s Kasompe township has every readon to be joyful.
Ms Nkandu shares the joy with several other residents of Chingola and beyond, of a phenomenal reduction in the price of mealie meal.
The resumption of mealie meal production by Zambia National Service (ZNS) in Chingola District has influenced a drastic reduction in the price of the staple commodity in the Copperbelt Province.
A 25 kilogramme of breakfast mealie meal which was costing around K320, is now fetching at K195.
ZNS, which is running Mussi Milling under a joint venture with the Kazenene family, has flooded the market with the Eagles brand of mealie meal and stabilised the price of the commodity.
Albina Mwansa who plies her trade in Chingola’s Chiwempala township, testified that both breakfast and roller meal manufacturered by Mussi Milling is a real deal.Her joy is shared by Chingola mayor Jonathan Kangombe, who is happy with the positive intervention ZNS has made through its Eagles mealie meal brand.
Mr Kangombe noted that consumers in Chingola and beyond now have a choice between the expensive mealie meal and the reasonably priced commodity by ZNS.
He said the gesture by ZNS has seen workers who were laid off during the hiatus being recalled. ZNS Liaison officer at Mussi Milling Major Suwilanji Sikombe noted the overwhelming demand for the Eagle brand as traders are coming from all parts of the Copperbelt. ZNS is offering the 25 kilogramme bag of breakfast at K185 wholesale price while roller meal is at K160.
Major Sikombe said Mussi Milling currently produces 3,000×25 kilogrammes bags of mealie meal per day.
He said the milling plant can produce up to 3,800 bags per day.
Speaking during the flagging of the milling plant last month, Copperbelt Province Minister Elisha Matambo said Government has placed a high premium on stabilising mealie- meal prices across the country through such ventures.
Mr Matambo said the partnership is cardinal because it will not only add to the variety of mealie- meal brands on the market, but will also make it available to the people of the Copperbelt at an affordable price.
He said the flagging off of the sale of Eagle mealie-meal will go a long way in addressing the situation and fulfilling Government’s resolve of providing cheaper Mealie- meal to its citizens.
Speaking at the same occasion, ZNS Deputy Commander Major General Reuben Mwewa said ZNS was committed to supplementing the Government’s efforts of producing affordable Mealie-meal.
Maj. Gen. Mwewa explained that the Government through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) had allocated 5, 000 metric tonnes of maize to ZNS to produce Eagle breakfast and roller meal at the Milling Plant in Chongwe, Monze, and Mpika.
“ZNS is always ready to work with the local private sector to help better the lives of the citizens,” he said.