The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) and the Grain Traders Association (GTAZ) are calling for the cancellation of the recent maize agreement aimed at driving down rising mealie-meal prices.
They say the agreement failed to achieve its intended objectives.
“Government should cancel the current tripartite maize sale agreement involving GTAZ, FRA and MAZ,” read part of a joint communique addressed to agriculture minister Dora Siliya.
It did not provide details on what they believe derailed the agreement. According to speculation the deal only benefitted a handful of millers, while the reduction in mealie-meal prices was negligible.
In an effort to quell rising prices for mealie-meal, government last month brokered the controversial deal. It entailed that FRA would purchase at K2 650 per ton and sell to millers at K2 200 per ton. Under the deal government would absorb 20% of a commodity-based subsidy to make up for the difference between FRA’s purchase price from GTAZ, and the sale price to millers.
It was meant to lower the price of mealie-meal, which had reached nearly K130 for a 25kg bag of white mealie-meal and K90 for yellow. However, prices continue to hover at almost those levels.