Written by on April 14, 2019

IT is easy to see even for a blind man that milling and sugar cartels are at work in Zambia.

The sudden rising mealie meal prices are not only artificial but pure maneuvers by millers to force government to give them cheap maize for more profits.

What they have done is to lower production to create an artificial shortage of mealie meal by claiming that they have run out of maize. Total bunkum!

The idea is to bend government to force the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to release cheap maize to them so that they can make more money for themselves. The created shortage of mealie meal which has consequently pushed up prices is the work of greedy millers who are grossly abusing the economics concept of demand and supply.

And government has already fallen into that trap.  If only it had cared to listen to the advice of Zambian National Farmers Union (ZNFU) president Jarvis Zimba, this was not going to happen.

What still does not make any sense is how mealie meal prices should rise when Zambia had a bumper harvest in the 2017-18 farming season which has even prompted government to allow for the export of the commodity this year. But there is an easier way out of this mess. Government should just import cheap mealie meal and let our millers keep their mealie meal. President Frederick Chiluba (MHSRIEP) tried it and it produced wonders.

In fact government should not only stop at importing mealie meal, it should also allow importation of sugar whose prices have shockingly risen to unaffordable levels for no good reason.

We produce and even export sugar so why should we pay K30 for a 2 kg packet of sugar? Sugar cartels of course have answers.

Kenya has allowed imports of sugar and prices have correspondingly slumped, much to the benefit of consumers and I strongly that Zambia should go the same way.

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