Zambia: Mealie-Meal Prices Rise

RETAILERS in some parts of the country have hiked mealie-meal prices by between K5 and K10 per 25kg bag.

In Livingstone, the prices have increased by an average of K5 with some millers attributing the increment to the shortage of maize in the tourist capital.

Masimu Milling is currently selling a 25kg bag of breakfast meal at K60 from K55 two weeks ago, while the price of roller meal has increased to K55 from K50.

Musanza Milling is selling a 25kg bag of breakfast meal at K63 from the previous price of K58 while the price of roller meal has increased to K54 from K48.

Shoprite Mosi-oa-tunya Square outlet is selling a 25kg bag of breakfast meal at K64.99 while Spar Livingstone is selling a similar bag at K68.50.

Mwasimu Milling director Mukuwe Imbwela said the outlet had decided to raise the price of mealie-meal due to a shortage of maize in Livingstone.

Mr Mukuwe said his firm was buying maize from Kalomo at a high price.

"Maize has become expensive. We are getting it at K1, 700 per kg from Kalomo because the Food Reserve Agency has not yet started selling maize to millers.

"The cost of transporting it from Kalomo to Livingstone is very high and hence we have to pass this cost to consumers," he said.

In Lusaka, some retailers have increased the price of the staple food to as high as K85 per 25kg breakfast bag.

A survey in different markets in the capital city indicated that the price of mealie-meal had been hiked by at least K5 and a 25kg bag was now selling at K70 from K65 previously.

At Kabwata Market most shops were selling Simba Number One and National Milling mealie-meal brands at K70 for a 25kg bag, while a 10kg bag was going at K35 each.

In Chelstone and Kaunda Square Stage 2, the price of mealie-meal was ranging from K67 and K70 per 25kg bag while a 10kg bag was going at K35.

Shoprite Zambia has, however, maintained the prices of the staple food, with the National Milling 25kg breakfast bag going at K64.99, Pemba at K67.99 while Superior Milling was still at K63.99.

Other towns throughout the country are also selling the commodity at as high as K85 per 25kg bag of breakfast meal.

Vice-President Guy Scott last week confirmed in Parliament that Government was aware about the escalating prices of mealie-meal.

He said the market forces were at play following Government's decision to waive subsidies.

Dr Scott, however, stated that Government was monitoring the situation and advised millers not to form cartels and exaggerate prices.

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