The Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) says Zambia will face another wheat deficit this year.
Last year, the nation was short of 250 000 tons of the national consumption of 540 000 tons.
MAZ President Andrew Chintala says producers have not indicated whether they have harvested sufficient stocks this year to meet the national demand.
“The concern arises from the fact that producers had increased the price of wheat without informing stakeholders how much had been harvested this year. They are asking for US$450, about 50% higher than last season,” Chintala said.
However, Zambian Wheat Growers (ZWG) defended the increase citing the rising cost of production. ZWG Chairman Donald Burton says wheat growers imported fertiliser and other inputs while the price of electricity rose by 75%.
The outbreak of septoria, a fungal wheat disease also fueled concerns about producers meeting the local demand. According to the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU), the disease may have damaged as much as 50% of the planted crop.