Zambia Reports (Lusaka)

Zambia: Govt Bans Maize Export After Mealie Meal Price Hike

With mealie meal (corn meal) prices sky rocketing the Patriotic Front government has banned the export of maize to neighbouring countries.

Agriculture Minister Bob Sichinga said government had ordered the Food Reserve Agency to release 50, 000 tonnes of maize on the market to the millers.

Sichinga said the government had decreed that millers should sell a 50 kilogramme bag of breakfast mealie meal at K65 and roller meal at K45 failure to which punitive measures will be taken.

Mealie meal prices have been on the upswing and government who removed subsidies on maize have been powerless in the face of millers who have been buying the commodity from private farmers.

Sichinga was forced to call for a tripartite meeting with millers and the Food Reserve Agency at which concessions have been made with government acceding to the millers to cushion part of the cost of buying maize.

Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili recently said that government would introduce price controls if millers continued increasing mealie meal prices.

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