…MEALIE MEAL PRICE WILL NOT REDUCE BUT WILL REMAIN STABLE
By AARON CHIYANZO
MEALIE MEAL prices will not reduce even with the offloading of the agreed 85, 000 metric tonnes of maize on the open market because the buying price still remains high, says Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) chairperson, Andrew Chintala.
Farmers and traders have agreed to offload 85, 000 MT of maize on the open market, following a successful meeting between MAZ, the Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ) and Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) last week.
Mr Chintala said the offloading of more maize on the market was not likely going to push the price of mealie meal and other maize products down as the buying price was still very high.
He however assured the nation of a stable supply of the commodity and stable prices following the offloading of the grain.
Mr Chintala expressed happiness that the difficulties of accessing maize on the open market that had hit millers had been partially ironed out.
“Looking at the 85. 000 MT that will be offloaded by the grain traders and the farmers, it should be able to push us for a few weeks to come. It’s not sufficient if you look at the national monthly consumption of 150, 000 MT.
“But what we can assure the nation is stability in terms of the supply of the commodity and stable prices of commodities on the market,” he said. Mr Chintala however said that if the offloading of maize on the open market could continue and push the price of maize down, mealie meal prices could also reduce.
He said that it was the association’s hope that the offloading of maize could continue so that there could be a win situation for all stakeholders.
Mr Chintala explained that if the supply could be able to meet the demand then the nation could be assured of a slight reduction in the prices of maize products.
The recent past has observed a steady rise in the price of mealie meal, to which the millers explained was as a resulting of farmers and grain traders not offloading the maize on the open market.