Talks between millers and government on the high mealie meal prices have intensified with hope that positive modalities would be put in place soon.
This is according to the Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) president, Andrew Chintala, in an interview on Monday.
Chintala indicated that there were talks between millers and government currently going on over the matter and was hopeful of a positive outcome such as introducing fair mechanisms.
He was hopeful that modalities would be put in place soon before the actual demand of maize kicked in around December and January, which was expected to push mealie meal prices even higher.
“We have some modalities in place already, so I think from the last discussions we have been having with government.
“There is what we call price blending mechanism where you bring in the expensive maize and get the cheaper maize, put it together and get an average cost which should be able to achieve government intension to reduce mealie meal,” he said.
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Chintala also revealed that millers risked shutting down their operations if they had not bought the expensive maize from the domestic market.
This situation angered him and MAZ members were reportedly stuck with the same commodity, with the coming of the subsided maize to two government millers.
Chintala revealed that millers risked shutting down if they did not secure the expensive maize from the domestic market.
Chintala was referring to Zambia Correctional Services (ZCS) and Zambia National Service (ZNS) as the two government millers accessing cheaper maize.
He was unhappy that its members were currently stuck with maize they bought at a high price from the domestic market at the request of government in order to secure the commodity and keep it domestically.
“So, our engagements with the Government is that look we need to quickly conclude.
“As at now, the millers sitting on expensive maize will have a very serious knock if at all the interventions are restricted to the two players without engaging other commercial millers sitting on huge stalks of maize which was procured at a high cost,” he concluded.
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