CommunityDevelopmental

Enhance FRA mandate to include milling, govt urged

By OLIVER SAMBOKO

GOVERNMENT should transform the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) from just keeping maize for national strategic reserve to an active participant in mealie meal production.

Nutrition expert Betty Bweemba, has advised that the FRA should be transformed to include milling of grain among its mandate to create competition so that citizens can start benefitting from cheap mealie meal on the market.

 Ms Bweemba, speaking in an interview said this will help mitigate the ever rising mealie meal prices which millers have been blaming on the high cost of production. 

She disagreed with the notion that the reason the country was struggling to keep the price of mealie meal down is because of high cost of production considering that Government has for a long time been subsidising both the production of maize and fuel.

Ms Bweemba said there is need to determine the real reason why mealie meal is expensive in a country which produces maize in excess. 

She said there is no need for the price of mealie meal to be skyrocketing when the country has been recording bumper harvests and exporting the excess.

Ms Bweemba also said the government should consider commissioning a study to determine the cost of mealie meal production so as to stop the exploitation of citizens through the unfair pricing of the staple food.  

She said in the absence of a cost study it’s impossible for Government to know how much should be the normal price of mealie meal.

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