“We are waiting for a directive from our parent ministry which is
currently consulting with the millers and other stakeholders. We have
about 140,000 tonnes to 170,000 tonnes of maize in the strategic
reserves,” Mr Chilala said.
The Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) recently said that Zambia would
have a maize deficit of about 100,000 tonnes to bridge the country to
the next harvest.
Mr Chilala said the FRA believed that millers still had some maize in
stock and would wait for the Government audit on the availability of
The Government through the ministry of Agriculture recently started
issuing permits to millers and other traders for the importation of
But MAZ president, Caleb Mulenga said in an interview in Lusaka on
Tuesday that although the Government had finally allowed maize imports,
the cost of mealie meal would rise even higher because of the
depreciation of the Kwacha.
Mr Mulenga said the Government should direct the FRA to offload maize
onto the market or alternatively introduce subsidies on mealie meal
produced from the imported maize so that consumers could get reasonable
He said the depreciation of the Kwacha had a huge negative impact on
the prices of the mealie meal from the imported maize warning that the
mealie meal would be expensive at about K70, 000 per 25 kilogramme bag
of breakfast if millers were to make profit.
Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) president, Edith Nawakwi on
Monday advised the Government to direct the FRA to release the maize
held in strategic reserve to check the rising prices of mealie meal.