Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo has told the National Agriculture Information Services (NAIS) that the country has limited stocks of maize and the Food Reserve Agency will consequently not release maize to millers.
Katambo stressed that FRA will not offload maize to millers as a measure to stabilise mealie-meal prices claiming that
Offloading maize to millers does not benefit consumers and is not sustainable.
President Edgar Lungu had recently told the country that meali meal prices will soon start reducing. A 25 kg of meali meal is currently selling at over K150 in Lusaka and close to K180 in rural places.
Katambo noted that offloading maize to millers will deplete the strategic reserves because they would have to release huge quantities push down the high meali meal prices.
He said the limited maize stocks that FRA is holding must be managed properly in anticipation of challenges that may arise by February 2020.
Government had allowed the export of maize before this year’s harvest despite being warned by certain sections of stakeholders and opposition leaders.