The retail price of maize in Zambia has dropped from K120/25kg [K4 800/ton] to K73/25kg [K2 920/ton] for white maize, and from K90/25kg [K3 600/ton] to K67/25kg [K2 680/ton] for yellow (brown) maize.
President of the Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) Andrew Chintala said the price drop was due to the country’s bumper crop yield of 3.6m tons.
The price drop meant that millers could buy maize at “reasonable prices” which benefit could then be passed on to consumers, Chintala said.
A fact check by this publication showed that the Copperbelt, Lusaka, Central Province and parts of Southern Province had all recorded a drop in the price of mealie-meal.
“This is a huge relief for most Zambians, burdened by the rising costs of goods and services, following the recent power hike,” said Damien Tembo of Kitwe.
The retail price of maize has peaked in the past at K130/25kg [K5 200/ton] for white maize and K100/25kg [K4 000/ton] for yellow maize.
According to government sources, these prices prompted the state to intervene through a tripartite agreement involving millers, grain traders and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).
In terms of the agreement, the FRA bought maize from grain dealers at K2 650/ton [K66.25/25kg] and sold it to millers for K2 2 000/ton [K55/25kg].
Government made up the difference with a 20% commodity-based subsidy to the millers.
However, the expected price reductions did not come through with prices holding at K120/25kg [K4 800/ton] for white maize, and K90/25kg [K3 600/ton] for yellow (brown) maize.
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