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‘MAIZE PRICE WON’T AFFECT MEALIE-MEAL PRICES’

By PETER SICHALI

THE maize floor price announced by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) will not have effect the price of mealie meal, Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) president Andrew Chintala has said.

Mr Chintala said the prices of Mealie meal will be determined by market forces.

He said millers, like other stakeholders, will have their own prices in line with their resource outlay.

“The price that the agency has announced is not a floor price per se, it is just a FRA buying price. Therefore, any other player on the market may have their own price that they have to offer farmers depending on the resource envelope,” Mr Chintala said.

Mr Chintala however said the K150 per 50 kg bag of maize was a fair price because it would encourage other players in the food value chain to get involved.

“As millers we will move by what market forces are dictating considering the price of raw materials and the output,” he said.

Mr Chintala said the mandate of FRA was buying maize for strategic reserves while millers buy the grain for consumption.

He said millers would strike a balance by taking into consideration interests of both farmers and consumers.

“For instance if millers buy maize at high prices it means the price of the finished product will also be high so we have to strike a balance,” he said.

Mr Chintala said millers would buy about 1.6 million tonnes of maize this crop marketing season, which would see them through to the next harvest season.

Government through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has pegged maize price at K150 per kg for the 2021 crop marketing season.

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