Mon, 19 Feb 2018 09:50:37 +0000
By CHITE MTONGA
MEALIE meal prices are rising because farmers are holding onto their maize and only selling sporadically to briefcase businessmen, Grain and Meat Workers Union of Zambia General secretary, Adon Sakala has said.
The briefcase business men are in turn supplying the maize to millers at exorbitant prices, Mr Sakala said.
He explained that farmers countrywide were still holding on to maize with the view that the commodity would be sold at a higher price than the K60 for a 50kg bag offered by the Food reserve Agency (FRA).
He said the farmers were selling their maize to briefcase businessmen. Mr Sakala said the businessmen bought the maize at a slightly higher price than the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and sold the grain at a higher price to millers. He said the rise in mealie meal prices was partially due to the fact that millers were buying maize at a higher price as maize had become scarce on the market due to the artificial shortage created. Mr Sakala said the maize prices were expected to continue rising as long as the trend continued. “I was out of town a few days ago in the outskirts and I can tell you that farmers are still holding on to their maize and selling to briefcase businessmen,” he said.
Mr Sakala said the Ministry of Agriculture should learn lessons on the spiral effects of pegging the buying price of maize too low. He said there was need for government to find lasting solutions to the problems in the Agriculture sector as it eventually affected the masses.