In an effort to stabilize the prices and increase the supply of mealie meal, the Government of Zambia has announced new incentives for private companies to establish additional milling plants with the capacity to process the country’s record bumper maize harvest into mealie-meal.
According to James Mazumba, President of the Professional Millers Association of Zambia (PMAZ), the only solution to current high prices and limited supply of mealie meal is to establish new milling plants in strategic maize production areas.
“There has been an outcry throughout the country that the price of our staple food is too high,” he said in a recently released statement, “Unless there is a deliberate attempt to process the remainder of the bumper harvest into mealie-meal, the price of this very essential product will not significantly come down.”
In response to these concerns, the Zambian Minister of Agriculture Wylbur Simuusa has said that the decision was made to provide companies establishing milling plants in provincial centers and districts with access to land and maize stocks currently held by the Zambia Food Reserve Agency (FRA).
Current records from the Zambian Central Statistical Office (CSO) consumer price index indicate that 2014 prices for a 25 kg bag of breakfast and roller meal have reached as much as ZMK 80 and ZMK 56.82 respectively.