‘STABILISE MEALIE MEAL PRICES WITHOUT HINDERING EXPORTS’

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By MUKOSELA KASALWE

GOVERNMENT should devise a mechanism of stabilising the mealie meal price without hindering normal maize trading and exports, says Party for National Unity (PNU) president Highvie Hamududu.

Mr Hamududu said this would enable dealers realise real value and prosper And the Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ) has urged grain traders not to panic following the maize and mealie-meal ban.

GTAZ Executive Director, Chambulani Simwinga, said grain traders who had declared their stocks to the organisation should not panic.

He however said it would be difficult for those who failed to declare their stocks.

In an interview yesterday, Mr Simwinga said it was important for grain traders to declare their stocks to enable
GTAZ relay the correct data to Government who would in turn make decisions based on the information provided.

And Mr Hamududu said the government lifting of the ban on export of maize and mealie meal would be a courageous move and economically correct in and ideal situation.

“With time, to keep the mealie meal prices affordable for households, Government can take that responsibility, say with Zambia National service (ZNS) and Food Reserve Agency (FRA), and leave the private sector to do real business in this area unhindered,” Mr Hamududu said.

Exports, Mr Hamududu said, would create real and sustainable value in maize production through the attendant good prices which only grow if there was international uptake through exports.

The opposition leader said it would be unwise to miss such golden economic opportunities for the nation.

He said Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo only grows one third of its maize requirement and that this was an opportunity for Zambia.

Mr Hamududu said country needed to be a reliable exporter for its advantaged markets in the region.

Mr Hamududu said the country should aspire to raise its agricultural production and productivity like Botswana, South Africa and previously Zimbabwe.

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