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Russian, Ukraine conflict pushes cooking oil prices up – Haabazoka

By LUCY PHIRI

THE war between Russia and Ukraine is the reason why cooking oil and other commodities are going up in the country as they are major contributors of sunflower oil, former president of the Economic Association of Zambia Lubinda Haabazoka, has said.

Dr Haabazoka said Russia and Ukraine are major producers of sunflower which they use to make cooking oil and a lot of countries benefit from them especially from South and North Africa.

He said already Russia has stopped the export of grain in which Europe is the major importer and some finds its way into Zambia through South Africa and other countries.  So   what is happening in Europe will push the food prices up high.

“It’s true cooking oil prices have gone up, and when you look at cooking oil it is as a product of farming and fuel is the major component for commercial farmers growing soya beans and other raw materials used for making cooking oil. We  also have the transportation cost, cost of electricity, cost of plastic packaging and so on, which has made the price to go up,’’ Dr Haabazoka said.

He said Russia alone produces 18 percent of the global demand for wheat and should the worst continue on economic policy sanctions, “We expect to see Russia retaliate and they have already stopped the export of grains and this has negatively impacted other countries.”

Dr Haabazoka said as a country, there is need to have a neutral stand as the only way to reduce the prices of cooking oil.

“If Government wants to reduce the prices of cooking oil, they need to reduce the price of fuel, and the best way to reduce the price of fuel is to increase the value of the Kwacha.

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